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De Soto says the two sides are expected to reply in writing
2003-03-05 16:48:28

Nicosia, Mar 5 (CNA) -- The Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides are expected to give their response in writing to Annan's request to put his plan for a comprehensive settlement in simultaneous referenda, Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro De Soto said here today.

The Peruvian diplomat, who met with Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, said that he has no information from any of the sides on what their response would be to Annan's call for a referendum on his peace proposal.|

Asked if he has a clear picture of what is going to happen at The Hague meeting on Monday, De Soto noted that this ''is for the parties to speak, to write, we hope''.

Invited to say if there is room for negotiation on the plan, De Soto said ''the Secretary General has spoken about this and I don't have anything to add or subtract to what he said''.

Asked if he has any information that the Turkish side will give a 'yes' answer on Monday, De Soto said that he does not have any information from any of the sides.

Asked whether the two sides will give their response to the Secretary General in writing, De Soto replied ''yes, they are actually expected to sign a paper, which is well known''.

Replying to questions about meeting at length with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash as he has done with President Papadopoulos, De Soto said that that Denktash is away, adding that he was ''in touch with the Turkish Cypriot delegation'' to the talks.

''In fact we will be seeing him (Denktash) later on'', he added.

Denktash was in Ankara today for talks with the Turkish government.

Replying to other questions, he said over the past few days he has discussed ''lots of things'' with President Papadopoulos.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has asked the two sides on the island to go to The Hague on 10 March and declare whether they are committed to hold a referendum on a peace plan for a comprehensive settlement.


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