US: Changes in Annan Plan must be acceptable to both sides
Washington, Mar 18 (CNA) -- The United States supports the reunification of Cyprus on the basis of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's settlement plan and in a manner that is acceptable to majorities on both sides of the island, State Department Deputy Spokesman Adam Ereli has stated.
Responding to questions during the daily briefing at the State Department, Ereli said that Annan has called on the parties ''to reflect on last year's referenda outcome and to come up with suggestions on how to move forward'', adding that the US supports ''that approach''.
Asked if the Annan plan should return revised or unrevised, he said: ''look at what happened with the referenda last year and come up with ideas on how to move forward. The key notion here is that whatever they decide needs to be done in a manner that is acceptable to majorities on both sides of the island''.
Asked whether the US would accept changes decided by the two sides, the State Department official said that ''if it's acceptable to both sides and if it's acceptable to Annan, you know, the goal is to have a reunification. So, obviously both sides need to buy into it''.
Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.