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Richard Boucher: Peace talks for Cyprus are a positive sign
2002-03-29 14:06:23

Nicosia, Mar 29 (CNA) -- US State Department's spokesman Richard Boucher has described the UN-sponsored direct talks on Cyprus as a "positive sign" and noted that the US want to see these talks proceed according to the kind of urgency that the UN Security Council talked about last month.

Replying to a question, Boucher recalled the recent visit of US State Department's envoy for Cyprus Thomas Weston on the island and that the US "reaffirmed the view expressed by the UN Security Council presidency in February that a greater sense of urgency in the negotiations is necessary in order to reach an agreement by June."|

"We do see the talks underway by the two leaders as a positive sign, and we once again would like to highlight the importance that we assign to this negotiating process," Boucher said. He added "we want to see it (the process) proceed according to the kind of urgency that the UN Security Council talked about last month."

"Our Special Cyprus Envoy Tom Weston visited Cyprus last week in support of the direct talks, and the UN Secretary General's good offices mission. Ambassador Weston met with both Cypriot leaders March 21st to hear their views on the status of negotiations," the State Department spokesman noted.

He added "we have reaffirmed the view expressed by the UN Security Council presidency in February that a greater sense of urgency in the negotiations is necessary in order to reach an agreement by June."

President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash started 16 January direct talks, under UN auspices, with a view to finding a comprehensive settlement. The second round of talks ended last Wednesday. Talks are expected to resume 9 April.

Last month UN Security Council members urged Cyprus President Clerides and Denktash to approach the resumption of UN-led direct talks on Cyprus in a spirit of compromise and with a sense of urgency and political determination so as to narrow the differences between them.

UN Security Council President said the Council members shared the view expressed by each of the two leaders that it should be the objective to reach an agreement by June 2002 and that this objective is feasible.

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