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US supports efforts for resumption of talks on Cyprus question
2006-05-05 15:31:33

Paphos, May 5 (CNA) - US Ambassador to Cyprus Ronald Schlicher expressed here today his country's support to UN Secretary-General Special Representative in Cyprus Michael Moller's efforts for the recommencement of discussions on the Cyprus question, noting that each day that passes by without negotiations is ''an opportunity wasted.''

In statements after a visit to Paphos Municipality, Schlicher said that he expressed to the Mayor of Paphos the support of the United States to the efforts currently underway by Mr. Moller, with the parties.

''We very much hope that Mr. Moller and the parties will find a way forward and reach agreement to begin discussions on those issues which the parties have agreed to discuss at the technical level and that the parties and Mr. Moller will also find a mutually agreed basis to discuss the political issues as well,'' he added.

Invited to comment the fact that many politicians in Cyprus and in Athens believe that after the May 21 parliamentary elections in Cyprus, the US government intends to bring back the Annan Plan, that was rejected by 76% of the Greek Cypriots during a referendum on April 24, 2004, to the negotiating table, Schlicher said that elections in one country don't figure to the US calculations, adding that ''we think that the Cyprus issue needs to be addressed as soon as possible under UN leadership.''

''And in fact that is precisely why we have been very strongly supporting the efforts of Mr. Moller and the parties right now,'' Schlicher said, noting that he does not believe that the elections ''are the main thing that we need to worry about.''

''We want to see a process of negotiations started as soon as possible. If that turns out to be June that's good if it turns out to be earlier than that that's even better,'' he added.

Asked if the climate is ripe for fresh negotiations, the US diplomat said the need for the parties to get together and start negotiating towards a reunification of the island is constant.

He added that every day that we don't have that process of negotiations is an opportunity wasted, so the sooner the better.''

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