State Department Spokesman confirms US support in Cyprus efforts
by Demetris Apokis
Washington, Mar 30 (CNA) -- State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher has said the US is working hard to support the UN Secretary-General's efforts in Switzerland for a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem.
He told reporters during Monday's briefing that the US looks "forward to an agreement among the parties to finalize the settlement" but could not confirm whether Secretary of State Colin Powell will be visiting the site of the enlarged talks, taking place in Burgenstock, Switzerland.
Boucher said the US is following developments in Cyprus "very closely" and is working with the parties involved, noting Secretary Powell has been personally in touch with the parties and that he spoke over the weekend with Secretary-General Annan about the situation regarding the Cyprus talks.
Boucher also said Powell talked on Saturday and again Monday with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul about the situation on the Cyprus talks. "So we're trying to work hard to support the secretary-General's effort in Switzerland", he added.
"We are very supportive of the effort that he (Kofi Annan) is making, and we will continue to do our own work with the parties to try to gain acceptance for his proposals", he said.
Annan yesterday presented the parties involved in a Cyprus settlement his fourth revised plan and asked them to convey their reaction by this morning.
The State Department Spokesman said his country looks "forward to an agreement among the parties to finalize the settlement".
Boucher said the US "do see a final settlement, as the Secretary-General said, as a win-win for all sides", noting the US joins the Secretary-General in urging the parties to seize this opportunity to secure a better future for all Cypriots".
To a question since Powell is in Europe this week, whether he will be visiting Burgenstock, Boucher said he did not know and that he would "not want to speculate at this point".