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President-UN SG discuss ways to accelerate talks
2002-05-15 09:23:35

Nicosia, May 15 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides has said he is "absolutely" pleased with a meeting here today with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

He also said he discussed ways and means to speed up the pace of the UN- led direct talks, which began in mid January this year.

"We had a very good meeting, we discussed how we can accelerate the negotiations," the President told dozens of journalists, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Turks and others who were covering the meeting.

The Secretary General, he said, will have "a meeting this afternoon with (Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf) Mr Denktash on the same to see how to accelerate the talks."

Asked if he was satisfied, he replied "absolutely."

Invited to identify the main obstacle in the peace talks, the President said he thought it would not be "wise" at this moment for each side to say what the main obstacle is.

"Let us wait to see if the Secretary General will succeed in getting understanding from both sides how to accelerate the talks," he said.

The morning meeting lasted 90 minutes and was attended by close aides of the two men, Annan's special adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto, who conducts the direct talks, and Under-Secretary to the President Pantelis Kouros.

Later this evening President Clerides will have a joint meeting with Annan and Denktash, before retiring to enjoy a dinner hosted by the Secretary General at the residence of his Acting Special Representative and Chief of Mission here Zbigniew Wlosowicz.

Annan is expected to make a statement on departure tomorrow.| C

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