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Foreign Minister: UN statement must reflect attitude of two sides
2002-04-01 09:17:44

Nicosia, Apr 1 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has urged the UN Security Council to consider seriously the attitude of the Greek and the Turkish Cypriot sides at the negotiating table, before drafting its statement on the peace process.

"I believe that the Council, through its statement, should not put on an equal par the side that cooperates with the side that does not cooperate at the direct talks," Kasoulides said today, when asked what he expects from the forthcoming statement.

That, of course, is a matter on which the Council will decide, he said.

The Council is due to issue a statement on Thursday on the current state of the UN-led direct talks, after it is briefed by UN Secretary General's special adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto, who is present at the ongoing talks.

Kasoulides said it is up to the Council members to assess the conduct of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides at the negotiating table after they are briefed by de Soto.

Replying to questions, Kasoulides said the content of the statement will depend on the briefing the 15 Council members will have had from de Soto.

"Prior to de Soto's consultations in Ankara last week, the picture of the talks was quite clear as far as the attitude of each side is concerned," the minister said.

If the Turkish government has tried to present de Soto with a different picture as to the future intentions of the Turkish Cypriot side, then the Council will have to evaluate the situation, the minister added.

President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash have been engaged in direct talks since 16 January. They have had 22 meetings so far. Alvaro de Soto is currently in New York to brief UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and the Security Council before returning to the island for the resumption of the talks on April 9.

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