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President meets British, US envoys
2002-10-03 11:33:05

By Apostolis Zoupaniotis -- United Nations, Oct 3 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides exchanged views and assessed the current state of affairs in the Cyprus peace effort with the British and American representatives for the question of Cyprus, Lord David Hannay and Ambassador Tomas Weston.

''These meetings have confirmed the overall impression that no surprises are expected here in New York,'' Cyprus Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said after the meetings, adding that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan does not intend to present the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides with any proposals at his meetings here today and tomorrow.

President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash are in New York after Annan had invited them to meet him with a view at reviewing the progress in the peace talks since he last met them in Paris in early September.|

Papapetrou said the President ''exchanged information and assessment with regard to the New York talks he will have with Annan and Denktash.''

Asked to comment on Dentkash's rejection of Annan's position that talks should continue after December, the Spokesman said the Turkish Cypriot leader has become hostage to the threats Ankara has leveled against Cyprus in the event of accession prior to a political settlement.

Turkey has repeatedly warned of a crisis if the EU decides to invite the Republic to join the Union at the December EU summit. Annan had said that peace negotiations will continue after December if there is no settlement by that time.

''Denktash should have taken heed of the statement by Turkish premier that it is not the end of the world if Cyprus joins the EU without a settlement and he should have second thoughts on the matter,'' Papapetrou said.

He pointed out that the Greek Cypriot side will continue in earnest the effort to find a settlement after accession.

Speaking after his meeting with President Clerides, the US State Department special coordinator for Cyprus said he had a ''very good meeting'' and was happy to see the President ''do what he is doing which I think he does very very well.''

''We are looking forward to the discussions that take place the next few days and we are hopeful of very good results from those discussions,'' Weston added.

He said he plans to see Denktash before leaving New York for Washington.

Lord Hannay did not make any statements to the press after his meeting with the Cyprus President.

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