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US remains committed to find a Cyprus settlement
2003-04-23 15:34:45

by Demetris Apokis-- Washington, Apr 23 (CNA) -- Despite the setback in efforts to reach an agreement for a Cyprus settlement in The Hague, last month, the United States remains committed to finding a just and lasting settlement for Cyprus, US President George Bush has said.

In his bimonthly report to the Congress "on progress toward a negotiated solution of the Cyprus question" covering the period February 1, 2003, through March 31, 2003, Bush said that ''as in the past, US officials, including Secretary of State Colin Powell, Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman, Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas G. Weston, and Ambassador to Cyprus Michael Klosson, joined me in providing intensive diplomatic support to the efforts of United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to foster a settlement to the longstanding division of the island.''

''We hoped that the Secretary General's meetings with the two Cypriot leaders in The Hague on March 10-11, 2003, would lead to a breakthrough on the basis of the Secretary General's fair and balanced settlement plan,'' the US President noted.

Unfortunately, he added, that meeting did not result in an agreement. ''Despite this setback, the United States remains committed to finding a just and lasting settlement for Cyprus,'' the US President added.|

The UN Secretary-General in his latest report to the Security Council and the resolution adopted by the 15-member body blamed Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for the failure of The Hague talks.

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


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