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Spokesman reiterates readiness for talks
2003-08-01 14:59:28

Nicosia, Jul 31 (CNA) -- The Greek Cypriot side continues to be willing to resume negotiations on the basis of a UN peace proposal, Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said here today, when invited to comment on remarks by Kofi Annan that he does not intend to undertake any new initiative unless the two sides in Cyprus display ''real and genuine'' political will to move forward.|

The spokesman also said that Annan's position on the resumption of talks has not changed.

''The position of the Greek Cypriot side remains the same, we are ready at any moment and whenever the Secretary General invites the parties to resume the talks on the substance of the Cyprus question and to negotiate on the basis of the Annan plan with a view at finding a solution,'' the Cypriot official said.

Annan had told a press conference in New York that he is prepared to help once there is real and genuine political will on the part of both parties in Cyprus.

He also said that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had put forward some proposals about moving forward with confidence building measures and that the Greek Cypriot side responded by suggesting to negotiate on the basis of the Annan plan.

Asked if the Secretary General puts the two sides on an equal par, the Chrysostomides said he did not think such a reference changes Annan's view, as expressed in a report after the collapse of the latest UN effort to find a negotiated settlement in early March when Denktash refused to put to a referendum the UN proposal.

''Annan reiterates his interest in the resumption of the talks on the basis of his plan,'' Chrysostomides added.

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



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