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Annan: no new initiative unless political will exists
2003-12-15 18:05:02

by Apostolis Zoupaniotis

United Nations, Dec 15 (CNA) -- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan reiterated today his firm position that he does not propose to undertake any new initiative with regard to Cyprus without sufficient grounds that the political will for a settlement is there, a statement read out by Annan's spokesman Fred Eckhart has said.

Annan also said that he hopes all parties concerned will make the necessary commitment to help find a settlement so that a reunited Cyprus joins the European Union in May next year.

The statement was issued a day after Turkish Cypriots ''voted in parliamentary elections'' on Sunday and expressed their will for a solution and accession to the European Union.

Asked by CNA if the UN could draw some conclusions from the outcome of the ''elections'', Eckhart said the difference is very small and refrained from further comment.

Annan's statement, released to the press earlier, said that ''the Secretary General has seen the reports of the Turkish Cypriot voting. It appears that it may take some time for a new political dispensation to be established.''

''The Secretary General takes this opportunity to restate his position, which is that his plan for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem remains on the table but that he does not propose to take a new initiative without solid reason to believe that the political will necessary for a successful outcome exists,'' it added.

Annan expressed hope that ''the Turkish Cypriot side - and indeed all parties - will soon be in a position to make the necessary commitment so that a reunited Cyprus may accede to the EU on 1 May 2004'', when Cyprus joins the EU.

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