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Cyprus hopes for objective report on peace process
2003-03-31 14:02:56

by Apostolis Zoupaniotis-- New York, Mar 30 (CNA) -- Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Sotos Zakheos appeared optimistic on Saturday that a UN report on the latest peace process to find a comprehensive settlement would be objective.

Addressing a meeting of the Cyprus Federation of America here, he said that ''events speak for themselves, the UN Security Council has called a spade a spade as far as the Cyprus question is concerned in the past four times that it has dealt with the issue.''|

He said statements by the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan after the collapse of this month's attempt to make headway make it clear that the Turkish Cypriot side is to blame.

''We expect Kofi Annan's report and we have made the necessary contacts and interventions to see that the report, which will be lengthy and will cover developments since 1999, is objective and lays responsibility where it is due,'' Zakheos told the meeting.

He said that the Council will adopt a resolution after the report.

The Ambassador said he did not expect soon a good offices mission from the Secretary General to the extent and the intensity of the recent past but added that the Security Council will give Annan the mandate to continue his good offices mission.

''We support the continuation of his good offices mission and we shall continue our efforts to find a just settlement that would protect the human rights of all Cypriots and that is in line with the acquis communautaire,'' he said.

Earlier this month after day-long talks in The Hague Annan said the latest UN effort for a settlement had come to the end of the road. He said Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash rejected his suggestion to put to a referendum a UN peace proposal and demanded radical changes to it.

Annan said Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos agreed to a referendum but said he wants the legal issues relating to the peace proposal to be completed and the people to be informed about the contents of the proposal.

CNA AZ/MM/2003

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