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Cypriot President proposes new UN initiative on Cyprus
2005-03-17 14:10:45

Nicosia, Mar 17 (CNA) -- Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said today that the Greek Cypriot side had proposed to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to launch a new initiative to solve the Cyprus problem.

He explained that the proposal had been conveyed through the Cyprus Republic's Permanent Representative to the UN.

President Papadopoulos was asked to clarify statements by Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, after talks they had this morning, that the Greek Cypriot side had proposed the launching of an initiative by the UN in the direction of a Cyprus settlement.

At his regular press briefing, Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said that about a month or so ago the Greek Cypriot side had conveyed its readiness to engage in fresh negotiations on the basis of the solution plan proposed by Annan.

He said he was not sure if the members of the National Council, top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus problem, had been informed about this move, noting that it was not an issue that demanded a special briefing.

''Our position is that we are ready to begin procedures of renegotiation immediately, aiming at solving the Cyprus problem,'' he pointed out.

Chrysostomides explained that this position was conveyed to the UN at a meeting between Cyprus' Permanent Representative at the UN and the UN's Deputy Secretary General for political affairs, Sir Kieran Prendergast.

Replying to questions, Chrysostomides said it did not matter whether this was called a proposal for a new initiative or a mere expression of will to engage in talks.

Asked if the UN had replied, the Spokesman said ''this issue is under constant discussion and examination,'' noting that any answer should come through the Republic's Permanent Representation at the UN.

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