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Alvaro de Soto: there is no UN plan
2002-10-21 23:46:35

Nicosia, Oct 21 (CNA) -- The UN has no plan on the solution of the Cyprus problem, UN Secretary General's special adviser Alvaro de Soto said here today, in a bid to end weeks of speculation that the UN has prepared and intends to present the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides with ideas on a proposed solution.

De Soto, who is just back from consultations in Ankara and leaves tomorrow for meetings in Athens, also said he would continue his consultations in Turkey because, as he pointed out ''we are not yet at the end of the game.''

He expressed hope that that the two ad hoc bicommunal committees, to be set up in the context of UN direct talks to deal with technical matters, will soon be up and running.

''There is no UN plan, no plan has been unfurled or unfolded,'' de Soto said after a long meeting with President Glafcos Clerides, when asked to comment on remarks by a Turkish diplomat that the UN plan would be to the satisfaction of the Turkish side.|

He said he had ''very useful and serious discussions'' in Ankara last week and hopes to return there in the near future.

Asked if he believed that the Turkish side is ready to discuss a final solution plan, the UN senior official said his discussions in Turkey ''took place in a business like atmosphere and were very serious, covered all issues that were needed.''

''These consultations will continue, we are not yet at the end of the game,'' he added.

On the work of the two committees, he said the Turkish Cypriot side has not yet appointed its representatives to the committees and expressed hope that it will do so very soon.

''We hope the committees will begin work as soon as possible,'' he added.

Replying to questions, Alvaro De Soto said he is being kept informed about the state of health of Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, who is in a New York hospital recovering from open heart surgery earlier this month.

He said one of Denktash's aides informed him on Sunday about the operation Denktash underwent yesterday and added ''I understand it was successful and he is recovering, I certainly pray that he would recover soon.''

Direct talks, which de Soto has been conducting for the past ten months, are now suspended because of Denktash's ill health.

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