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Clerides: UN direct talks to resume after November 15
2002-10-18 13:53:16

Larnaca, Oct 17 (CNA) ? President Glafcos Clerides has said that the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser, Alvaro de Soto, did not convey anything new to him from his discussions in Ankara, adding that due to health problems Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash is facing, the UN-led direct talks are unlikely to resume before November 15.

In statements before his departure to Athens for talks with the Greek leadership, Clerides said UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has not yet decided whether he would put forward a solution plan to the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides.

''Judging by what I have heard from Mr. de Soto, it is unlikely that direct talks will resume before November 15,'' he said, after a half hour meeting with de Soto at Larnaca airport, after the latter's return from Turkey and prior to the President's departure for Athens.|

Replying to questions, President Clerides said de Soto informed him that the Turkish Cypriot side will appoint its representatives to the two ad hoc technical committees, to work in the context of the peace talks, and after that, the committees will start work.

The Greek Cypriot side has already appointed its representatives to the two committees. Clerides, Denktash and Annan decided to set up these committees at their meetings earlier this month in New York.

On the possibility of Annan submitting a solution plan before the December Copenhagen European Council, Clerides stressed that the Secretary General has not yet decided whether he would make such a move or not.

The President said de Soto informed him that he would be in Athens for talks with the Greek government early next week.

Regarding Denktash's state of health, after open heart surgery, the President said de Soto informed him that the Turkish Cypriot leader is facing some "complications which are only natural to expect.''

Denktash will go to Turkey once he is discharged from hospital in New York and remain there for 15 days before returning to Cyprus.

The President dismissed press suggestions that the government has been under pressure to change its plans with regard to the annual military exercises Nikiforos and Toxotis.

''The exercises will take place as planned,'' he said.

The President, who is already in Athens, returns home on Saturday.

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