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US-Greece hope for renewed effort for Cyprus solution
2003-04-02 14:35:52

by Demetris Apokis -- Washington, Apr 2 (CNA) -- The US and Greece have expressed their hope that there will be renewed efforts to negotiate further on a UN peace proposal for a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus, after the collapse last month of the latest attempt by the UN to make headway towards a solution.

This position was outlined at a meeting here Tuesday between President Bush's National Security Advier Condoleezza Rice and Greek National Defence Minister Yiannos Papantoniou.|

Papantoniou said he did not think there would be any important development in the Cyprus issue before the 16 April, when the Republic and another nine acceding countries sign the Accession Treaty with the European Union.

He also said efforts towards a settlement should be made immediately after the signing of the Treaty.

The question of Cyprus was one of many issues discussed at the meeting. Papantoniou talked about Cyprus with his US counterpart Donald Rumsfeld as well.

The Greek minister briefed Rice in detail about the latest developments with regard to Cyprus and both expressed disappointment for the collapse of efforts to find a just and viable solution, a collapse which is due to the intransigent positions of the Turkish Cypriot side backed by Ankara.

The US and Greece expressed the hope that a framework will be created again to allow negotiations for a solution to take place.

UN-led talks ended in a deadlock in early March after Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash declined a UN suggestion to put to a referendum the peace proposal and said he wanted radical changes to it, something the UN did not favour.

Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said he would put the proposal to a referendum but wanted to complete the legislative aspects of the proposal and to inform the public about the contents of the plan before they voted on it.

CNA DA/MM/GP/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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