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US envoy: settlement possible in very near future
2002-10-26 21:17:49

Larnaca, Oct 26 (CNA) -- US State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus Tom Weston believes that it is still possible to find a negotiated settlement in Cyprus in the very near future.

With regard to the announced postponement of military exercises in the weeks ahead by Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, he reiterated the US long standing position that anything that could affect the UN-led peace talks in a negative manner should be avoided, adding that Washington expects all parties to follow that.| ''This is obviously a very important time, it is even more important now because of all the events external to the island which can have an impact on a just and comprehensive settlement, events in Europe, in New York and elsewhere,'' he said on arrival for a five day visit. Asked if a settlement could be reached before the European Union summit in mid December, he replied ''we certainly think that a settlement is possible in the very near future and we think that everyone should work towards it.'' Invited to comment on the agreement to postpone the military exercises, he said that for a long time the US has advocated ''reduction in anything, which could have an adverse affect on the talks'', including military exercises. ''So we have every expectation that all parties will follow that,'' he added. Weston will meet President Glafcos Clerides on Wednesday and have various other meetings with political leaders.

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