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Senior UN official: I am here to listen to as many as possible
2005-05-31 14:12:48

Nicosia, May 31 (CNA) -- UN Under Secretary for political affairs Sir Kieran Prendergast has said he wants to listen to as many perspectives as possible in order to get a very good picture of the intentions and the mood on the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides.

House of Representatives President and General Secretary of AKEL Demetris Christofias said Prendergast's mission does not end here and pointed out that he is on the island to investigate intentions and to listen to people.

''We continued the discussion about their objectives, their concerns and it is part of the business of getting a very good picture of the mood and the intentions on both sides,'' Sir Kieran said, when asked about the content of his meetings, after talking to Christofias for over an hour.

Prendergast is accompanied, among others, by UNFICYP Chief of Mission and Special Representative of the UN Secretary General Zbigniew Wlosowicz and Robert Dann who has worked with Alvaro de Soto, former special adviser to the Secretary General on Cyprus, during the past several years in the latest failed UN attempt to reach a negotiated settlement.

Asked if his talks so far have enhanced his understanding of Greek Cypriot concerns, with regard to a UN solution plan, he replied ''yes, I want to meet everybody and I want to listen as many perspectives as possible'', but would not reveal the people he is meeting over the next couple of days, before he leaves on Thursday.

Christofias said Prendergast is here to ''investigate and listen not talk.''

Replying to questions, he said ''he is accompanied by aides who take note of what is said and done at the meetings just as we do.''

He said he did not think this business would end here.

''He may come back or the two sides may return (to New York), this is not a momentary affair, I do not believe this ends here,'' he added.

Christofias was hosting a lunch for Prendergast, who later today is to meet the leader of the main opposition party Democratic Rally Nicos Anastasiades.

Sir Kieran's visit follows that of presidential envoy Ambassador Tasos Tzionis to New York, earlier this month, in an effort to resume negotiations with a bid to bring about some changes to a UN-proposed solution plan and reach a negotiated settlement.

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