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President Clerides arrives in New York for meeting with Annan
2002-10-02 13:28:28

By Apostolis Zoupaniotis -- United Nations, Oct 2 (CNA) - Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides has arrived in New York, for talks with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, as part of the UN-led ongoing peace talks to solve the Cyprus problem.

Speaking on arrival at Waldorf Astoria hotel, the President told reporters ''there is nothing that can make us say Turkey's policy has changed on the Cyprus problem, as far as a solution is concerned''.

''If this happens, it will be after the Turkish elections in November. For the time being, the Turkish government's position remains the same, that we must recognise that there are two sovereign states in Cyprus'', the President noted.|

Invited to comment on information that the issue of territory will be discussed at the talks, the President said ''an effort was made to discuss it, but the Turkish side refuses to do so until certain other issues of interest to it are clarified''.

''The talks have not managed to clear the ground for a solution because the Turkish side insists on the creation of two independent states, the abolition of the Republic of Cyprus and the creation of some sort of link between the two sovereign states'', he said.

The President reiterated that during this round of talks, he does not expect Kofi Annan to submit any ideas, adding that so far the United Nations have not said whether there would be a joint Annan-Clerides-Denktash meeting.

Asked what would happen if there is a deadlock at the New York meetings, President Clerides said neither side would withdraw from the talks, which ''are mostly a debating society, not a negotiating platform''.

''Each side presents its disagreements and explains its positions, without convincing the other'', he added.

Today, Annan met with his Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto, who is conducting UN-led direct talks on the island between President Clerides and Denktash.

President Clerides will hold talks later today with Britain's Special Representative for Cyprus Lord David Hannay and US State Department Special Coordinator Thomas Weston. The US envoy will also meet with Denktash.

President Clerides and Denktash are also expected to see de Soto separately, prior to meeting Annan.

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