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British MPs discuss prospects for Cyprus solution
2004-11-09 10:02:21

Nicosia, Nov 9 (CNA) -- British deputies, currently visiting Cyprus, are trying to understand why a UN-proposed solution plan failed to be accepted by the people of Cyprus, according to Labour MP John Maples, head of a five-member parliamentary delegation from Britain.

Speaking after a meeting with Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, the British MP said the delegation from the House Foreign Affairs Committee would like to hear from the Cypriots how things can make headway towards a solution and will draw its conclusions on the situation once it hears a broad series of views.

“We want to understand, to try to understand better why the Annan plan was not acceptable to both sides and to get an understanding of where we go from here, how do both sides see the process of taking this forward,” he said, after an hour-long meeting, noting that the delegation would be talking to government officials, political parties and Turkish Cypriot groups.

“I hope that in two days’ time, we will have a better understanding of that,” he added.

Responding to questions, he said he was not sure that there is a need to review British policy on Cyprus.

“What we are interested in is why did the Annan plan failed to be accepted and is it a question of negotiating some changes to it or is it much deeper than that,” he said, noting that it is a little early to come to any conclusions at that.

Maples said he has already been given some explanation as to why the plan was not accepted but noted that “what we heard is in slightly more detail of what we have read in the newspapers that people have said.”

“I want to have a much broader series of views before we come to any conclusions ourselves,” he said.

Maples said he would report to the British Parliament, probably in the Spring, and hear some more evidence in London, probably from some Foreign Office ministers and the European Commission.

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