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US reaction to Denktash's ideas
2003-04-04 09:59:08

by Demetris Apokis -- Washington, Apr 4 (CNA) -- The US has stressed that the resumption of talks under UN auspices is the way towards a comprehensive settlement and noted that confidence building measures in Cyprus is a matter that can be taken up by the island's two communities, in the context of the good offices mission of the UN Secretary General.

Commenting on a package of measures Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has put forward saying they would help the peace process, the State Department said that ''we believe the way to a comprehensive settlement is for both sides to resume talks under the auspices of the UN good offices and on the basis of the Secretary General's very fair peace plan.''|

''These confidence building measures between the two sides are really a matter for them to discuss. We believe that the best context for them to do so remains the UN good offices. Genuine confidence building measures arrived at through the UN good offices mission would certainly be welcome,'' it added.

''Our focus, however, remains on achieving a comprehensive, just and durable settlement to the Cyprus problem. Even genuine confidence building measures are not substitute for this. We look to the upcoming UN Security Council session on Cyprus to reaffirm international support for the Secretary General's good offices and to support the Secretary General Annan's plan as a basis for a future settlement,'' the State Department said.

Denktash's proposals failed to impress interested parties in the peace process. The EU, the UN, Britain, the US as well as the governments of Cyprus and Greece have all said that any attempt to resume the dialogue for a solution should be within the UN framework.

The proposals, announced at a press conference ahead of next week's UN report on the collapse of the latest UN effort to find a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus, fell far short of involving the UN in the proposals.

Last month Denktash, backed by Turkey, rejected UN calls to put to a referendum a peace plan and said he wanted to make a fresh start.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.


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