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Very difficult for talks to resume before ?elections?, Weston says
2003-10-27 16:42:47

Larnaca, Oct 25 (CNA)--US State Department Special Coordinator on Cyprus, Ambassador Thomas Weston said here today it is very difficult for UN-led talks for the solution to the Cyprus question to be held before the illegal elections, scheduled for December 14 in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus.

Speaking before departing to Dublin, Weston said that he leaves the island ''refreshed, optimistic as always and recommitted to working very hard to do what we all want to do, which is solve the division of the island'', adding that he would be back to the island shortly.

He said between now and until the illegal elections, it would be ?very difficult to actually move back to negotiations?, adding that during his meetings he found a ''great interest in getting back to talks as soon as possible''.

Stating that most of the attention, and especially in the occupied areas, is focused on the so-called elections, the US envoy said ''I anticipate that after those 'elections' all our efforts are going to be devoted doing exactly that, getting back to the negotiations where we can reach a settlement?, before ?the actual accession of Cyprus to the EU'' in May 2004.

In Dublin, Weston will have contacts with Irish officials. Ireland will take over the EU rotating presidency in the first half of 2004.

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