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Government not to begin negotiations through correspondence
2003-04-04 10:06:31

Nicosia, Apr 4 (CNA) ? The government is not prepared to begin negotiations on Cyprus through correspondence, Government Spokesman Kypros Chrisostomides said today, commenting on the second letter which Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has sent to Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos on his so-called ''proposals''.

He said Denktash's ''diplomatic fireworks'' fell through, adding that the Turkish Cypriot leader did not present any proposals but conveyed an invitation to start negotiations.

Chrisostomides reiterated that the Greek Cypriot side's position is that efforts to solve the Cyprus problem should remain within the UN framework.|

Invited to comment on the US State Department statement that the resumption of talks under UN auspices is the way towards a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem, the Spokesman said the Greek Cypriot side is not opposed to the view that the Annan plan should remain the basis for negotiations.

The Spokesman also referred to statements made by European Commission spokesman Jean Christophe Filori, who said the Commission wishes to see a peaceful resolution of the Cyprus question which could be achieved within the UN framework, as well as statements made by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's spokesman Fred Eckhard, noting they were on the same level.

Chrisostomides said the way things were, the UN Secretary-General's report on Cyprus would clearly blame the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot side for the collapse of The Hague talks.

''All measures are taken for an accurate presentation in the report of what happened'', the Spokesman said.

''Our reports note there is a clear attribution of responsibilities to the Turkish Cypriot and Turkish side in the report, the way things are today'', he added.

In The Hague, Denktash refused to put to a referendum Annan's peace proposal, demanding radical changes to it.

President Papadopoulos has accepted the peace plan as a basis for negotiations, said he would put it to a referendum but asked that chapters relating to legal matters be completed and that the people are sufficiently informed about its contents before they vote on it.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.


CNA/MM/AAR/EC/RG/2003

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