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Big five at Security Council consult on Cyprus
2003-04-08 10:04:14

by Apostolis Zoupaniotis -- United Nations, Apr 8 (CNA) -- The five permanent members of the UN Security Council began here Monday informal consultations about the contents of a draft resolution on the Cyprus peace process, expected to be issued after the Council meets on the matter on Thursday.

Britain, backed by the US, presented the first draft. A diplomatic source refrained from commenting on the content of the draft but said that it is too early to talk about the resolution as consultations are continuing.|

The Council will hold informal consultations on Cyprus on Wednesday with a view at adopting the resolution Thursday.

Meanwhile, UN spokesman Fred Eckhard drew the attention of journalists during his Monday press briefing at UN headquarters to the observation section of the Secretary General's report on his good offices mission in Cyprus, released here as an official UN document.

Announcing the release of the report covering the period between late 1999 and the meeting in The Hague in early March, Eckhard said that "apart from thoroughly reporting in the developments during this period, the report also contains a detailed explanation of the Secretary General's plan."

"I would also draw your attention to the observation section of the report which has two parts, the first gives the Secretary General's views as to why this unique opportunity was missed and the second outlines what the Secretary General believes should be the way ahead," the spokesman said.

The Secretary General states in his report, Eckhard said, that the plan remains on the table but he does not propose to take a new initiative without ''a solid reason to believe the political will exists, necessary for a successful outcome.''

UN-led peace talks collapsed last month when Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash refused to put to a referendum Annan's proposal for a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus and said he wanted radical changes to it.

Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said he would put the plan to a referendum but asked for the legal aspects of the plan to be completed and sufficient time to inform the people about its contents before they vote on it.

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


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