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Britain respects Greek Cypriots' choice on Annan Plan
2005-11-22 11:06:01

Nicosia, Nov 22 (CNA) - Britain said it respects the democratic choice of the Greek Cypriot community in rejecting the Cyprus settlement plan proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and accepts that Greek Cypriots have concerns about the plan.

In a reply letter to MP Theresa Villiers about Cyprus and schooling for Greek Cypriot children in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, British Minister for Europe Douglas Alexander said that he sympathises greatly ''with the wish of all those who have been displaced in Cyprus to return home.''

''It is regrettable that after so many years the Cyprus problem remains unresolved. This government believes that the complex issues relating to property can only be fully resolved within the context of a comprehensive settlement and that the UN Secretary General's plan should be the basis of any future efforts to achieve this aim,'' he told Villiers.

''But we respect absolutely the democratic choice of the Greek Cypriots and accept that Greek Cypriots have concerns about the plan,'' the British Minister said.

He noted Britain recognises that ''these concerns must be considered in any future negotiations, but at the same time we should stress that any changes to the settlement plan must be acceptable to both sides.''

Alexander reiterated that Britain will continue ''to pursue a just, viable and lasting settlement for the benefit of all Cypriots.''

''We continue to strongly encourage all sides to show the necessary political will and readiness to negotiate, and to present their priorities to the UN in order that negotiations may recommence,'' he noted.

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