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Government pleased with Security Council statement
2002-05-03 09:12:57

Nicosia, May 3 (CNA) -- Cyprus has welcomed a statement by the UN Security Council with regard to the ongoing direct talks, in which the Council insists on a comprehensive settlement, that should take full consideration of UN resolutions and treaties.

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides also welcomed the Council call to both sides, but in particular to the Turkish Cypriot side, to cooperate fully with the UN Secretary General's special adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto, who is conducting the talks.

The minister said the government welcomes the decision by Annan to visit Cyprus, a trip expected to take place in mid May.

The statement was issued after Alvaro de Soto had briefed the Security Council on the content of the talks, which resume on Tuesday May 7.

"We express our satisfaction with the statement in that the Security Council insists on a comprehensive solution, which should take full consideration of Council resolutions and treaties and we welcome the call on both sides, but specifically on the Turkish Cypriot side, to cooperate fully with Kofi Annan," Kasoulides said.

Replying to questions about the purpose of the visit, Kasoulides said the Secretary General will have in mind three elements, the need to step up the pace of the negotiations, compromise and peace, as there were outlined before the Security Council by de Soto.

"There is no doubt that Annan's visit aims at promoting the peace process," he said.

He said he does not see anything in the Council statement that indicates the need for an interim agreement, instead of a comprehensive settlement and stressed that the agreed procedure by the two sides with regard to these talks says that "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed."

"We adhere to the search for a comprehensive settlement," Kasoulides said, adding that there will be no high level agreement between the two sides and nothing will be signed until everything is agreed upon.

He said the Greek Cypriot side is ready to examine and discuss methods which could in practice assist the peace process, in accordance with the role de Soto has been entrusted with, on the basis of the terms of reference afforded to him by the Security Council.

The minister said he could not identify the methods that would be applied to assist the peace process and said "we have never said no to a more active role of Annan's representative to these talks."

Asked if the submission of papers at the talks could help the peace effort, Kasoulides said that the government believes that Alvaro de Soto should play his role to the full, as this is defined by his terms of reference emanating from Council resolution 1250.

"If any papers are submitted, these would be non papers, working papers," he added, recalling that neither side is committed to anything even if it makes some openings at the negotiating table, unless everything is agreed.

The minister said in its statement "the Council expressed regret over the lack of progress in the past few months and recommends that the two sides should agree on a more concrete and specific method of work, which will aim obviously at a comprehensive settlement, taking full consideration of UN resolutions and treaties."

The minister pointed out that the statement does not place the two sides on an equal par with regard to their response to the UN Secretary General's efforts.

He said the specific call on the Turkish side to cooperate "reflects the behaviour of each side so far at the negotiating table."

The minister described as a positive element of the statement the insistence of the Council on the June target date, a timeframe within which the two leaders and the UN have said an agreed settlement could be found.

President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash are engaged in direct talks, under UN auspices, with a view at finding a comprehensive settlement.

Denktash was the first to talk about June as a date by which a solution could be reached. This was adopted by Clerides and the UN.

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