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Powell calls on both sides to study UN plan carefully
2002-11-13 10:34:37

by Demetris Apokis Washington, Nov 13 (CNA) -- US Secretary of State Colin Powell has said the presentation of a peace plan on Cyprus by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was an important initiative and expressed hope that both sides will study the initiative carefully.

He said "the initial response from both the Greek and Turkish and all parties in this difficult situation has been encouraging.''

Powell, who was speaking to the press after meeting Annan in Washington said he had extended his congratulations to the Secretary General on the new initiative that he put forward with respect to Cyprus, underlying that ''there are many difficulties ahead, but I think it's important that both sides take this opportunity, with this new initiative to reach a solution to this most vexing of problems.''

Powell noted they discussed the Cyprus issue extensively but said he did not want to get into any detailed comments on the UN initiative as he had not studied it yet.

''We'll study it very carefully. It's more important for the sides to examine it carefully and enter into this discussion in the spirit of finding not problems, but finding ways of moving forward, of finding a solution,'' the US Secretary of State added.

Annan said that he had spoken to both Cyprus leaders Monday and appealed to them to take time to study the document, not to give him any quick reactions, but come to him within a week.

''And once I receive their reactions we'll make a judgement how we carry the process forward,'' he added.|

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