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Security Council President hopes Denktash heeds UN call
2002-04-12 10:43:12

By Apostolis Zoupaniotis - United Nations, Apr 12 (CNA) -- Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash must take heed of a call by the Security Council to work seriously for progress in the Cyprus peace talks, current Council President Russian permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Sergey Lavrov, has said.

He also said the Council wants the dialogue between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides to continue and be based on Council resolutions and invited the leaders of the two communities to use more the UN good offices.

Asked by CNA if he believed that Denktash has taken seriously the Security Council message on the talks, Lavrov replied "I certainly hope so because the message was very clear that we want the solution, we want this dialogue in the format of direct talks to continue."|

He stressed that the Council wants this dialogue to "be based on Security Council resolutions and we want both participants of the dialogue to make more use of the UN good offices, be it in the person of the Secretary General, be it in the person of his Special Adviser, Alvaro de Soto."

"I think the Security Council position has been very consistent and we have endorsed the basic principles of the settlement and we want the parties to arrive at those principles," Lavrov said after a working lunch with the ambassadors of the other four permanent Council members and the President of the Cyprus House of Representatives Demetris Christofias.

Asked when de Soto, who has conducted two rounds of direct talks, will be briefing the Council again, Lavrov said that would depend on how the dialogue continues but there is no set date at present for another briefing.

De Soto has already briefed the Council twice so far since 16 January 2002 when the talks began. In its latest statement the Council expressed concern that "progress was slow" and urged the two leaders to "intensify their negotiations in the period ahead and to bring to them the urgency, political determination, flexibility and spirit of give and take needed for differences to be resolved."

Commenting on his meeting with Christofias, Lavrov said the House President outlined his views on the situation which are entirely within the Council resolutions and aim at the reunification of the island on the basis of a bicommunal country.

Christofias also gave "a very interesting expose" of his own efforts to bring about a dialogue between two communities and to build a grassroot level cooperation, friendship and coexistence as one people of one country, Lavrov added.

In his remarks after the meeting, Christofias said he was pleased with his discussion with the "big five" which he described as "very friendly."

He said he explained to them that what Cyprus is seeking from the Council is a more active and decisive intervention that shows support for UN resolutions.

Replying to questions, he said all five diplomats expressed the view that Denktash has to take seriously into account the Council message.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

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