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Kasoulides discusses Cyprus problem with US envoy
2002-09-19 06:56:47

y Apostolis Zoupaniotis -- New York, Sep 18 (CNA) - Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Kasoulides and US State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston met in New York and discussed developments on the Cyprus problem and the prospects that are outlined during the period until the Copenhagen European Council.

Diplomatic sources noted that the Americans are disappointed with escalating Turkish threats, suggesting they serve pre-election purposes, and decided not to react strongly.

A foreign diplomatic source said that in view of the October 3 and 4 talks in New York between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, a preparatory meeting will be held a couple of days earlier.|

The UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto, Weston, Britain's Special Representative for Cyprus Lord David Hannay and other emissaries on Cyprus will take part in the preparatory meeting, the source added.

During their meeting, Kasoulides and Weston discussed proposals put forward by Denktash and the Turkish Cypriot leader's positions, brought up during his meetings with President Clerides within the framework of the UN- led direct talks.

They also talked about Turkish threats regarding Cyprus' accession to the EU prior to a Cyprus settlement, the latest Turkish efforts to upgrade the regime in the Turkish occupied areas of the island and the results of the Islamic Conference's Coordination meeting in New York.

UN sources have not ruled out the possibility that the Security Council may raise the Cyprus problem, either on the eve of the meetings or afterwards. Any ideas the UN chief may have are not expected to be submitted before the November 3 elections in Turkey.

Cyprus, which opened accession negotiations with the EU in 1998, has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

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