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President briefed National Council on peace talks
2002-09-27 13:06:43

Nicosia, Sep 27 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides gave National Council members an extensive briefing on the state of affairs at the UN-led peace talks on the Cyprus problem, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said after today's Council meeting.

He said the Council, comprising all parliamentary parties, will meet again after the President meets UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash next week in New York and before Clerides goes to Athens for consultations.

''The President briefed party leaders or representatives about what is said at the talks, he informed them about his contacts with foreign diplomats and replied to their questions,'' Papapetrou said.

Asked if the peace talks are moving on, the Spokesman said he could not say that ''they are on the right track since the Turkish side has not changed its fundamental philosophy and consequently there is no indication that the current deadlock can be broken.''|

Replying to questions, he said press reports to the effect that Denktash is willing to return the Turkish occupied town of Varosha to the Greek Cypriot administered area, as part of an overall settlement, are not accurate.

He said President Clerides has always maintained that issues discussed at the talks are interconnected as long as this connection falls within the framework of principles set out by UN resolutions on Cyprus.

Direct talks between President Clerides and Denktash, which began in January this year, have not made any substantive progress towards a negotiated settlement for Cyprus, divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

Denktash insists on the creation of two separate states on the island and any ideas he puts forward centre around this fundamental philosophy. The President is working for a bizonal, bicommunal federation of a single sovereign state of Cyprus, with a single citizenship and one international personality, as provided by UN resolutions.

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