Annan hopes for breakthrough in Cyprus by end of year
By Apostolis Zoupaniotis --
United Nations, Sep 9 (CNA) - UN Secretary General Kofi Annan hopes for a
breakthrough in Cyprus talks by the end of the year.
The Secretary General characterised the talks he had in Paris with President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash "frank and in a way useful, even though I cannot say there was a breakthrough".|
Annan explained that when he met them in Paris, he had not expected a breakthrough and that during the talks "he encouraged the leaders to press on, and to try to make progress".
He also expressed the belief that "there are answers to the issues, they are grappling with".
Annan said he asked President Clerides and Denktash to work hard the next couple of weeks and noted he expects to receive them in New York on October 3.
"?hey will join me here on the 3rd and 4th of October, for us to see where we stand and what further steps need to be taken", Annan said.
Asked if there was a new deadline, Annan said: "I want them to do it as soon as possible, hopefully by the end of the year".
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.
President Clerides and Denktash have been engaged in UN-led direct talks since mid January this year with a view to reach a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.
Last Friday, Annan met with Clerides and Denktash in Paris and asked them to return to Cyprus and work on the issues that he highlighted to them and meet him once again in New York on October 3 and 4.