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Annan: real and genuine will needed to proceed with Cyprus issue
2003-07-31 06:46:33

By Apostolis Zoupaniotis
United Nations, Jul 31 (CNA) -- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has indicated that he is not willing to undertake a new initiative on Cyprus unless the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides show ''real and genuine'' political will to move forward.

''My position is still the same. I will be prepared to step back in and help once there’s a real and genuine political will on the part of both parties,'' he said, when asked if he intends to assume a new initiative this Fall.|

He said that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had recently made some proposals about moving forward with confidence building measures and noted that the reaction of the other party had been that there is a prudent plan, a proposal on the table which needs to be worked at in order to move on that basis.

Annan has put forward a very detailed proposal on a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus, which Denktash has rejected and Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said it needs to be adjusted to fit in with the acquis communautaire, following the signing of the Accession Treaty by the Republic of Cyprus.

Speaking at a press conference at the UN seat, the Secretary General referred to the so-called elections in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus in December.

''I don’t know what that brings and what changes that holds for us. But my position is, if the parties are genuinely interested we will assess but until then I don’t think it would be worthwhile,'' he added.

UN efforts to bring about a negotiated settlement came to a halt in mid March when Denktash refused to hold a referendum on the Annan plan.

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



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