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Foreign Minister meets US Undersecretary of State
2002-09-19 08:50:20

By Apostolis Zoupaniotis -- United Nations, Sep 19 (CNA) - The United States have reaffirmed their desire to contribute to a Cyprus settlement and their support for Cyprus' accession to the European Union.

US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman expressed the American position yesterday, after a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Kasoulides.

In statements to CNA, Kasoulides said he was satisfied with the warm conversation he had with the US official, which "underlined that the US position concerning their desire to contribute to a Cyprus settlement and mainly their support for Cyprus' accession to the EU, was reaffirmed".|

The discussion covered the efforts underway for a solution to the Cyprus problem and the island's accession to the EU, within the deadline of the "window of opportunity", the Minister said.

Invited to comment on Greek press reports that the Americans believe Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's proposals contain some positive elements, Kasoulides said that was not the case.

He pointed out that during his meetings with US officials, he never ascertained any effort to improve or promote the Turkish positions or that these contribute to a solution.

Kasoulides pointed out that the situation has not changed with Denktash's positions, neither is it expected during this period.

All efforts, he said, will concentrate after November 3 when the elections in Turkey are over, and a serious preparation is preceded for the meeting between Denktash and President Glafcos Clerides with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York in early October.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-led direct talks between President Clerides and Denktash, which began in January this year, aim at a comprehensive settlement. However they are at a stalemate due to Denktash's insistence for "two sovereign states", contrary to UN resolutions calling for a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

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