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US say every day without political engagement a wasted opportunity
2006-04-17 12:33:32

Nicosia, Apr 17 (CNA) - US Ambassador to Cyprus Ronald Schlicher said today that every day that goes by without political engagement on the Cyprus problem is an opportunity wasted, adding that the United States urge the parties, under UN auspices, to talk through issues on which they disagree and seek to find agreement to establish dialogue on the wide range of political issues.

Speaking after a meeting in Nicosia with Democratic Rally (DISY) President Nicos Anastasiades, Schlicher said the US call on the parties to proceed with discussions on a technical committee level, and expressed certainty that everybody on the island desires that that political engagement takes place as soon as possible so we can start a negotiating process.

Schlicher said it is ''very useful'' for him to visit the different party leaders to be able ''to get their sense of what the people of Cyprus are thinking about the Cyprus issue and about the wide range of domestic issues that the country faces as well.''

Asked about the technical committees on the Cyprus problem, Schlicher said ''we have been very, very clear in our relations with all of the parties and with the UN that we very much urge that work on those issues that the parties have decided to discuss at the technical level go forward.''

He added that the US urge ''the parties, under the shepherding of (Special Representative of the UN Secretary General Michael) Mr. Moller, to actually talk through those issues in which they don't agree yet and seek to find agreement to establish dialogue on the wide range of political issues that need to be engaged because the US thinks that every day that goes by without that political engagement is an opportunity wasted.''

''It's my very strong sense that everybody on both sides of the island really desire that that political engagement takes place as soon as possible so we can start a negotiating process that will actually address the many overwhelming political questions that still need to be addressed,'' he noted.

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