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Boucher: Core issues could be resolved by the end of June
2002-06-07 06:52:44

Nicosia, Jun 7 (CNA )-- The US believe there is a real opportunity to resolve the protracted Cyprus problem, US State Department's spokesman Richard Boucher told his press briefing yesterday.

He agreed with the UN Secretary General's position that the two leaders of the island, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, could resolve all core issues, by the end of June and expressed the US readiness to continue assisting UN efforts for a comprehensive settlement of the problem.|

"We do believe there's a real opportunity here to resolve this longstanding conflict to the benefit of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots. We also agree with Secretary General Kofi Annan's statement during his visit to Cyprus 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.

"We stand ready to continue our assistance to the UN Secretary General and his special advisor in this effort to reach a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue," he added.

While in Cyprus, last month, Annan called on both leaders to show the political will and the readiness to intensify their efforts and resolve all the core issues by the end of June, which he identified as governance, security, territory and properties.

Clerides and Denktash have been engaged in UN-led direct talks since mid January this year, with a view to negotiate until a settlement is reached.

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