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Annan: UN has not given up on Cyprus
2003-06-04 09:14:00

by Apostolis Zoupaniotis-- United Nations, Jun 4 (CNA) -- ''We have not given up on Cyprus,'' UN Secretary General has told CNA, adding that he is really prepared to work with the parties but he wants to see genuine political will to make progress to resolve the conflict in Cyprus.

''And I think both the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots as well as the motherlands are looking into prospects for pressing ahead with the process. But I will wait to see the signal that both sides are ready,'' Annan said.|

UN Secretary General's spokesman Fred Eckhard announced that Annan in his latest report on the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus recommends that the Security Council extend the mission's current mandate for further 6 months until the 15th of December.

He underlined that in his report the SG notes "that these recent developments are not a substitute for a comprehensive settlement. It seems highly unlikely that such a settlement can be achieved without the genuine political commitment to the proposal I've put forward and a firm timetable to finalize the negotiations."

Asked if the SG considers sending his Special Adviser for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto to the area, Eckhard said: ''To my knowledge, no. From his report (I understand), he is still waiting for a signal from the two sides that they are willing to negotiate in good faith on the basis of his latest proposal.''

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The most recent effort to reach a settlement on the basis of the Annan plan collapsed due to the stance of the Turkish side.

CNA/AZ/KN/MM/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
04/06/2003

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