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Cyprus Minister presents positions to US
2005-07-26 11:43:57

Washington D.C., Jul 25 - Cyprus Minister of Foreign Affairs George Iacovou and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice held a 40-minute meeting on Monday, during which Iacovou presented the Greek Cypriot side's positions on the Cyprus problem and pointed out that it has cooperated with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan towards a Cyprus settlement.

Speaking after his meetings at the State Department, where he signed a Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) on the prevention of the spread of weapons of mass destruction, Mr. Iacovou said he had stressed that the Greek Cypriot side's positions on the solution plan proposed by Mr. Annan have been expressed and that the Secretary General should continue his efforts, either by sending an envoy to the island or by appointing a special representative to be in Nicosia.

At the State Department, Mr. Iacovou also had a half-hour meeting with Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Dan Fried.

Mr. Iacovou said he discussed various issues with Ms. Rice, mainly the Cyprus problem. ''I presented our positions, that we have cooperated with the UN Secretary General, that we have explained our positions on the Annan plan, that we believe the Secretary General should continue, either by sending an envoy at some time before September or by appointing a special representative who will be in Nicosia,'' Mr. Iacovou noted.

''I must say that she listened with great attention. Nothing that could cause any difficulty was mentioned. The view is that the Secretary General is possibly giving some time to study our positions, that they will support the Secretary General's efforts, they do not have a different agenda, they will help the Secretary General,'' he added.

Referring to his talks with Mr. Fried, Iacovou said they mainly covered the Cyprus problem ''and how we view things.''

''We also discussed issues of cooperation between the US and the EU, various problems arising from time to time and how there can be cooperation,'' he added.

Iacovou pointed out that the US officials did not express any special concerns over possible problems that may arise by Ankara's signing of the protocol extending its customs union to the ten new EU member states.

''It is known that the US want cooperation between the EU and NATO. Turkey is trying to leave the Republic of Cyprus out of this cooperation. For this reason, we have already expressed our positions,'' he said.

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