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UN envoy to push forward Cyprus peace talks
2002-10-18 13:50:18

by Apostolis Zoupaniotis United Nations, Oct 18 (CNA) -- UN Secretary General's special adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto visited Turkey on Wednesday to push forward the peace negotiations on Cyprus, UN spokeswoman Hua Jiang has said.

Asked why de Soto went to Turkey, she said ''he was there to push forward the talks, as you know, that have been going on for a long time, and this is just part of the process.''|

She said that de soto had expressed optimism that progress will be made.

She referred journalists to the UN spokesman in Cyprus for further comment.

On his return from Turkey, on Thursday, de Soto said there is little time and a lot of work to be done until a political settlement is reached but enough time to achieve this goal.

De Soto has been conducting direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for the past ten months.

No real progress has been achieved so far because of Denktash's demand to create two separate states in Cyprus. Clerides is working for a bizonal bicommunal federation, as prescribed by UN decisions.

At present direct talks are suspended because of Denktash's ill health. He is recovering from open heart surgery in a New York hospital.

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