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UN talks on Cyprus start
2002-10-03 14:48:38

By Apostolis Zoupaniotis -- United Nations, Oct 3 (CNA) ? As the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan meetings with President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash got underway, the two leaders earlier held a series of deliberations with US and UN officials.

Annan's meeting with President Clerides took place at 1200 local time and with Denktash half an hour later, at UN headquarters.

Meanwhile, the issues which will be raised during the next couple of days were discussed at a meeting Clerides had with UN Special Adviser, Alvaro De Soto.

Diplomatic sources said the issues concern sovereignty and the continuation of the existence of the Republic of Cyprus, within the framework of a Cyprus settlement.

The same sources said Kofi Annan is expected to exert pressure on Denktash to submit proposals on the territorial issue.

The UN Chief will inform later this evening both sides on Friday's schedule of meetings.

Alvaro De Soto also met earlier today with the Turkish Cypriot leader and discussed with him the issues of today's talks with Kofi Annan. |

In another development, the UN does not have any information about Rauf Denktash's health. Turkish sources said Denktash will leave New York on Tuesday after undergoing an angioplasty over the weekend.

Denktash underwent an angiogram on Wednesday at New York's Methodist Hospital and was scheduled to attend the meetings with Annan.

Attending the President's meeting with De Soto at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel were Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, Attorney-General Alecos Markides, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou, Undersecretary to the President Pantelis Kouros, Cyprus' Permanent Representative at the UN Sotos Zackheos and the Director of the Foreign Minister's office, Andreas Mavrogiannis.

Meanwhile, US State Department's Special Coordinator, Ambassador Thomas Weston, said the US look forward to the talks Clerides and Denktash will have with Kofi Annan.

He spoke after meeting Denktash in the presence of the latter's advisors Elgun Olgun, Mumtaz Soysal and Osman Ertug. Weston said the two "had a very good discussion" and ''I think he (Denktash) is looking forward to the talks, in the next two days and we are certainly looking forward to it in a hopeful way" .

He also said he was pleased to see that Denktash "was doing very well".

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island's northern third. UN-led talks, which began in January aiming for comprehensive settlement, are at a deadlock due to Denktash's insistence to create two "separate states", contrary to UN resolutions calling for a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

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