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Cyprus says UN may begin deliberations soon to promote solution
2005-10-24 12:18:23

Nicosia, Oct 24 (CNA) - Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs George Iacovou said today he thought the UN would begin deliberations soon to find ways to promote a process that would lead to the solution of the Cyprus problem.

Speaking to the press after the House of Representatives Finance Committee discussed his ministry's budget for 2006, Iacovou said British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott would be visiting Cyprus in the context of contacts the United Kingdom, currently holding the rotating EU presidency, was having with the other 24 member states of the bloc.

''Of course, there is a high level of interest in the Cyprus problem from many sides and, as the President of the Republic said in his last statements, there is the expectation that soon the UN Secretariat would express itself, if not with a specific initiative, certainly with the commencement of deliberations as to how it would proceed in the future,'' Iacovou added.

Asked about the invitation Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat received from the US State Department to visit Washington, Iacovou said ''the decision for Mr. Talat's visit was made earlier, it was merely postponed repeatedly for various reasons and in the end, under Turkey's pressure to make this visit, the US decided to reactivate the issue.''

Regarding the process for a Cyprus settlement, Iacovou said he was not referring to an ''initiative'' because this meant ''something very specific, which has a structure and rules, and for this reason I do not use the term 'initiative', unless it has these characteristics.''

''It is an expectation based on information,'' he said, adding that ''the term 'initiative' is open to various interpretations.''

He noted that ''for a senior official of the Secretariat to come, it may be interpreted as an initiative on behalf of the Secretary General.''

Asked if Prescott would be meeting Talat tomorrow and where, Iacovou said ''the UK's High Commissioner will be hosting an afternoon tea, to which Talat has been invited as the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community.''

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