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Colin Powell gives seal of approval to Cyprus solution plan
2004-04-01 16:25:34

Nicosia, Apr 1 (CNA) -- US Secretary of State Colin Powell has said he supported a UN proposed plan for a comprehensive settlement on Cyprus, saying it was a compromise in which no party got everything they wanted.

In a statement issued in Berlin, Powell said the US was ready to support the full implementation of a settlement and would make a substantial contribution to a pre-donors conference to help implement the solution.

''I support the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem that UN Secretary General Annan presented today in Switzerland,'' Powell said, pointing out that this was the culmination of decades of UN-hosted talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriots as well as Greece and Turkey.

He said this was an historic moment and a powerful signal of reconciliation which offered a settlement that opened the door for a united Cyprus to secure its future in Europe on May 1.

The Secretary of State said the solution offered the way for Greek and Turkish Cypriots to set aside the bitterness of the past, move forward in peace, prosperity and partnership, and share together in all the benefits of European Union membership.

Reiterating the words of the UN Secretary General to the leaders of the two Cypriot sides, Greece and Turkey, he said that the outcome ''was necessarily a compromise in which no party got everything it sought.''

The final text, he noted, was "fair" to both sides and the final settlement met the core interests of the people on both sides and provided a secure framework for a common future.

''The choice is now in the hands of Cypriots. We know they will make this choice with the future of all Cypriots in mind. As they make their decision, they should know the United States is committed to support full implementation of this settlement,'' Powell said.

He said the US would participate in and make a substantial contribution to the pre-donors conference being organized by the European Commission, and do all it could to help in other respects.

Concluding his statement, the Secretary of State saluted the constructive contributions of the Cypriot leaders as well as Greece and Turkey and commended Kofi Annan for outstanding leadership in carrying out his Good Offices Mission and the exceptional efforts of his Special Advisor Alvaro De Soto and the UN's entire Cyprus team.

On midnight Wednesday at Swiss alpine resort of Burgenstock, Annan handed the two sides in Cyprus, Greece and Turkey the final version of his plan on a comprehensive settlement and urged the leaders not to miss this opportunity to reunite their country.

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