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UN Cyprus envoy briefs ''big five''
2003-03-27 16:03:07

by Apostolis Zoupaniotis -- United Nations, Mar 27 (CNA) - The UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto briefed on Wednesday the five permanent members of the UN Security Council about the collapse of the latest UN peace effort to find a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus, prior to the signing of the EU Accession Treaty in mid April.

Government Spokesman Kypros Chrisostomides said today that the government wishes to see the good offices mission of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan continue in order to help find a viable and workable solution.|

The New York briefing lasted hardly half an hour and according to diplomatic sources events were presented in an objective manner and in line with what Annan had said after the collapse of the talks on March 11 at The Hague.

Annan had said Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash refused to put to a referendum a UN peace proposal for a comprehensive settlement. He also said Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos agreed to conduct a referendum, provided Annan's peace proposal was completed in terms of legislative work and the people were sufficiently informed about the plan.

De Soto is said to have told the ambassadors of the five Security Council members that both he and Annan wish to have the peace effort continued but the parties involved should not be pressured to return to the negotiating table.

The ambassadors agreed with de Soto's assessment of the situation and expressed appreciation for the efforts made by him and the Secretary General.

A report, prepared by de Soto, on the peace process will be given to the Security Council on Monday and will cover the entire period of talks from December 1999 when this latest attempt began to the meetings at The Hague.

Following Security Council consultations, a resolution is expected to be issued at the end of next week.

Replying to questions after a Cabinet meeting in Cyprus, Spokesman Chrisostomides said the government wants to see the good offices mission continue and expressed the conviction that the Security Council would approve further involvement of the Secretary General's good offices mission.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


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