Powell reiterates support for Annan's Cyprus settlement efforts
by Demetris Apokis
Washington, Feb 3 (CNA) -- US Secretary of State Colin Powell reiterated US full support for the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for his efforts on the Cyprus issue, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said, referring to a meeting Powell and Annan had here today.
Boucher said the US urges all parties to commit to Secretary-General Annan, to meet his requirements to resume talks, so that a settlement may be reached in time for a reunited Cyprus to join the EU on May 1st.
Asked if a major portion of the Powell-Annan discussion focused on the Cyprus issue, Boucher said ''it was a significant portion. It's always significant when Cyprus comes up. The Secretary today reiterated our full support to the Secretary-General for his efforts on the Cyprus issue. We made clear that the United States stays - continues support at the highest levels: the UN Secretary-General's good offices mission for Cyprus and the role of the UN Secretary-General as facilitator in that process.''
''As you know, we've been encouraged by the fact that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister Gul have made clear in their meetings in Washington that there's a genuine willingness on Turkey's part to meet the UN Secretary-General's requirements for resuming peace talks immediately. The Secretary has made that point also to the Greek Cypriot president. We're urging all the parties to commit to Secretary-General Annan, to meet his requirements to resume talks, so that a settlement may be reached in time for a reunited Cyprus to join the EU on May 1st. So they discussed that somewhat today,'' Boucher said.
Invited to say what Powell will be doing in this and if he will be calling all the sides, keeping the pressure up before that deadline, the State Department's spokesman noted ''the Secretary has been discussing it will all the parties. He has had regular exchanges with various people on this subject for quite a while, and he will continue I think to work actively on this in support of the Secretary-General's effort."
"And he made, as I said, clear today to the Secretary-General our full support for his efforts and said that we would do - he would do, we would do whatever we could to support the Secretary-General's efforts. So conversations, phone calls, interventions, letters, whatever is appropriate to make, to encourage the parties to move forward in the direction that the Secretary-General has set forth,'' Boucher concluded.