Bush wants Cyprus problem solved
By Apostolis Zoupaniotis --
United Nations, Sep 13 (CNA) -- US President George Bush has expressed
his eagerness to see the Cyprus problem solved.
Bush met briefly Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides here last night at
a reception given for the heads of the delegations attending the 57th session
of the UN General Assembly.
He is said to have told Kasoulides "we must solve the problem."
The Cypriot minister replied by underlying that if the problem was settled this would facilitate US plans concerning Turkey. "Therefore, you have to convince her do something this year," he added.
Minister Kasoulides had separate meetings here with counterparts from Portugal, Luxemburg, Russia, the Netherlands and a number of Islamic countries.
He had also a few minutes' conversation with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Today Kasoulides will have a working lunch with US State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus Tomas Weston, with whom he will review developments after the Cyprus talks held in Paris, last week, at the invitation of Kofi Annan.
The UN chief asked Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to return to Cyprus and work on the issues which he highlighted to them and meet him once again in New York on October 3 and 4, stressing that there is an opportunity at hand which is "waiting to be seized".
Kasoulides will also meet this evening with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou.
UN-led direct talks between Clerides and Denktash have been going on since mid January this year with a view to reach a comprehensive settlement on the Cyprus question.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.