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US: there is still enough time for Cyprus solution
2002-10-23 09:56:27

Nicosia, Oct 23 (CNA) --- Lynn Pascoe, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs in the US State Department, expressed here today optimism that there is still enough time for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

Pascoe, currently visiting the island, was received this morning by Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, to discuss latest developments in the Cyprus question, as well as regional and international issues.

He thanked President Clerides for Cyprus' cooperation in the war against terrorism.|

''I thanked Cyprus very much for its cooperation in the war against terrorism and I think we cooperated very closely in that area and in many other areas'', the US official said.

Referring to ongoing efforts for a Cyprus settlement Pascoe said ''we think that it is very important that we have a period where we need to be moving forward, we need to be working hard on things and we are optimistic that there is enough time.''

Invited to say whether the Cyprus peace talks could go on without Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, who underwent open heart surgery in a New York clinic, the US official expressed hope that Denktash will recover quickly.

''We had a very nice and good meeting with the President'', he said, adding that he was looking forward to meet President Clerides again.

After the Presidential Palace meeting, the US official was to cross into the areas occupied by Turkish troops since 1974 for meetings with the Turkish Cypriot leadership.

Later today Pascoe is scheduled to meet in the Republic's free areas with Chief Negotiator for Cyprus' accession to the European Union, George Vassiliou.

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