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US determined to work for Cyprus settlement
2002-09-19 06:53:43

By Apostolis Zoupaniotis -- United Nations, Sep 18 (CNA) - The United States is determined to use the time until the Copenhagen European Council to do what it can to get a comprehensive settlement on Cyprus, the US State Department's Special Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston has said.

In statements to CNA, Weston said "the accession of Cyprus to the European Union and Turkey's relationship to the EU ought to enforce a situation in which a settlement is more achievable that has been the case in the past".

Weston added that "the time for that is obviously right now, that is before the Copenhagen European Summit, where these decisions on accession and Turkey's relationship will actually be made".|

"We are going to use that time in exactly that way. To do what we can to get a comprehensive settlement", he said.

While in New York, Weston held a series of discussions with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, Ioannis Kasoulides, George Papandreou and Sukru Sina Gurel respectively, as well as Britain's Special Representative for Cyprus Lord David Hannay.

Today he held a working breakfast with Kasoulides, where the latest developments on Cyprus were discussed.

"I never discuss the content of my meetings, but we have been through almost a week of multiple and numbered meetings with the governments of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, discussing obviously the Cyprus issue and other elements of our relationships relating to the Cyprus issue", he told CNA.

Weston described his meetings long, thorough and productive, "although they have not led to the sort of breakthroughs we might have wanted to see".

The US efforts will continue in the days to come outside New York. Weston said the Cyprus issue would be raised in today's US-Turkish talks in Washington. He will also continue his talks both in the US and Europe.

Weston said he remains "hopeful" that there will be a just and durable settlement of the division of the island.

"I am certainly more determined to continue working hard and get a settlement", he concluded.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

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