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Annan: UN will try hard for an agreement by end of year on core issues
2002-10-03 14:40:57

By Apostolis Zoupaniotis -- United Nations, Oct 3 (CNA) ? The UN will try hard to bring the Cyprus peace talks "to a closure" by the end of the year and the parties to come to an agreement on the core issues, said Kofi Annan, speaking to journalists at the organization's headquarters.

Replying to questions Kofi Annan said that in today's meeting he hopes that the UN "will assess what progress has been made since they last met in Paris and what they need to do to accelerate the process".

"We are going to try and do as much as we can do to come to an understanding and bring the talks to a closure, at least come to an agreement on the core issues by the end of the year. That is the target", the Secretary- General underlined.

He cautioned that "if we miss that, obviously, we will have to find ways of bringing it to a closure beyond that date. But I hope we can do it before the end of the year".

To a question if he plans to bring any new element or tactic in the Cyprus talks, he answered with a big laugh: ''They may have some tactics and surprises for me''.|

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troos invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash have been engaged in UN-led direct talks since mid January this year with a view to reach a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

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