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US envoy holds meetings in Cyprus
2003-04-14 11:06:14

Nicosia, Apr 14 (CNA) - The UN Security Council resolution on Cyprus, expected to be adopted today, has been improved and is considered ''satisfactory'', Minister of Foreign Affairs Georgios Iacovou said.

At the same time, US State Department Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston, who also met today with House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias, said he is convinced there is nothing in the resolution which is not supportive of the very positive position which President Tassos Papadopoulos has taken, expressing his willingness to continue to finding a way forward in negotiations within the parameters of the Secretary General's peace plan.|

Speaking after meeting Weston, the Foreign Minister said that ''the interpretation that the US and other members of the Security Council give is that the plan remains as a basis for negotiation and there is no effort whatsoever for the plan to obtain a new standard, that is to become a basis for a solution''.

The resolution, Iacovou said, clearly blames the Turkish Cypriot leadership for the collapse of the talks but does not blame Turkey, something the government had wished for.

The Foreign Minister said he discussed with Weston the future moves by Nicosia and Washington, in view of the new situation, which is created as regards Cyprus with its accession to the EU.

''I believe there are many issues which need to be re-negotiated'' within the Annan plan, Iacovou said, and gave financial issues as an example.

In his statements, Weston said the US ''recognise, as well other members of the Security Council, that the Annan plan was based on a particular constellation of events'' and was based on the idea of actually achieving a settlement before the accession of Cyprus to the EU, that is this Wednesday.

''I think it is recognised that there are elements of the plan that do need to be examined, and should be, in the course of negotiations'', he said.

Weston said about the draft resolution to be passed today that there is nothing in it ''which is not supportive of the very positive position which the President has taken, expressing his willingness to continue to finding a way forward in negotiations within the parameters of the Secretary General's plan''.

''Our discussions this morning made it very clear to me that that does offer a way forward'', he said, adding that ''the view of the US is that there are opportunities to go forward within the parameters of that plan''.

He said his meeting with Christofias was ''instrumental in clarifying the coincidence of views on this subject''.

Asked what he would tell Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash when they would meet, Weston said he would express ''the view of the US that there is only one way forward to get a settlement on Cyprus, and that is to adhere and respond to the recommendations of the Secretary General, soon to be endorsed by the Security Council''.

Speaking after meeting Christofias, Weston applauded the ''attention being given of finding ways of providing some of the benefits of EU membership to Turkish Cypriots who are being denied those benefits by one or a very small group of gentlemen in the north''.

Christofias said he asked the US, in voting at the Security Council today, to make it clear that negotiations will continue on the basis of the plan, and that the plan will not be considered as the solution to the Cyprus problem.

He said he assured Weston that the Greek Cypriot side wants a continuation of the Secretary General's mission of good offices and that the Greek Cypriot side ''recognises that the Secretary General would have liked to continue the discussion on the Annan plan''.

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

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

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


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