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Washington: Cyprus agreement possible by end of June
2002-05-17 12:22:43

By Demetris Apokis-Washington, May 17 (CNA) -- US government supports UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's statement that between now and the end of June the core issues on the Cyprus question can be resolved, provided that there is the necessary political will.

US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said during his daily briefing that there is a need for more urgency regarding the talks on the Cyprus problem and expressed Washington's strong support towards Secretary General's visit to Cyprus and to his statements before leaving the island yesterday after a two-day working visit.

"We agree with the Secretary General's statement that the two leaders, between now and the end of June, can resolve all the core issues, provided they go about their task decisively and with the necessary political will", Boucher said.|

The US State Department spokesman reminded that the US endorsed the position the UN Security Council took on May 2, regarding the target date of June for an agreement and the need for more urgency.

"We strongly support the Secretary General's visit. We strongly support what he said. We do think there is a need for more urgency. That was the position the UN Security Council took on May 2nd. We again in that resolution endorsed the June target date for an agreement," Boucher said.

Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash launched UN-led face-to-face talks in mid-January this year, with a view to negotiate until a settlement is achieved. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

Before leaving Cyprus yesterday, the UN Secretary General urged the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus to focus on the core issues of governance, security, territory and property, during talks to solve the Cyprus problem.

He expressed convinction that between now and the end of June the two leaders can resolve all the core issues provided they go about their task decisively and with the necessary political will.

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