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UN envoy: no plans for week-long meetings in The Hague
2003-03-07 11:06:26

Nicosia, Mar 7 (CNA) -- The programme of Monday's meeting in The Hague with the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus has not been finalised, UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto told CNA here today, and indicated that consultations with the two parties would take place on Monday but not beyond that.

De Soto said on Sunday he would be meeting the Secretary General Kofi Annan in The Hague and would be in touch with Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos to inform him about the procedure of the Monday meetings.

De Soto, who leaves for The Hague tomorrow accompanied by his team of experts, said that depending on the outcome of Monday's meeting he might go to New York or return to the island.|

Asked what the procedure would be for the Monday meetings, he said ''the programme has not been actually spelt out'' and noted that Papadopoulos had been in touch with him this morning to inquire about this.

''All I was able to tell him was that the meetings would be concentrated on Monday but I would be in touch on Sunday to give them details, I will meet the Secretary General on Sunday,'' he added.

Invited to comment on speculation that there would be actual negotiation in The Hague with the two sides after Monday, the top UN envoy on Cyprus replied ''my return ticket is open because I do not know what my destination would be after Amsterdam, whether I would come back to the island or go to New York.''

The Secretary General would decide, he explained and said that this decision ''would depend on the outcome of the meeting'' with the two leaders.

''We have no plans to continue through the week, I have seen that kind of speculation, the Secretary General has engagements in The Hague on Tuesday,'' he added, referring to the inauguration of the International Criminal Court.

Asked if Kofi Annan has sent letters to President Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash with regard to Monday's meeting, he explained that the Secretary General had extended personally an invitation to the two leaders and gave them the text of his talking points, that spelt out in writing what he was proposing.

''He did not feel necessary to resort to the formality of sending a letter to the two leaders since they accepted his invitation and he made the announcement in a prepared statement they had agreed to,'' de Soto said.

Replying to questions, he told CNA that there has not been a reply yet from Greece to Annan's letter inviting Athens to send a representative to The Hague at a level commensurate of the importance of the meeting.

De Soto said it was for the three guarantor powers (Greece, Turkey and Britain), all of whom got invitations to go to The Hague, to judge the level of representation.

CNA MM/GP/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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