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Australia hopes UN initiative will help settlement
2002-11-14 15:32:23

Nicosia, Nov 14 (CNA) -- Australia has welcomed a UN proposal for a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus and expressed hope that it would help the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides reach a political settlement.

Canberra reiterated its continuous support for UN efforts to achieve a just and lasting solution that meets the needs of all Cypriots and assured that its envoy on Cyprus remains engaged in the peace effort.

''I welcome the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's draft settlement plan on Cyprus, which he presented to the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr Glafcos Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktash, on 11 November, 2002,'' Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said in a written statement.|

The document, he said, provides a basis for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus dispute, and noted that it has also been conveyed to the three guarantor powers of Cyprus' sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, Greece, Turkey and Britain.

''I am pleased that both Mr Clerides and Mr Denktash have indicated that they will evaluate the proposals in a constructive way,'' Downer said.

At this important time, the minister said, ''I urge all parties to make every effort to bring about an end to the division.''

''The Australian government continues to support the UN Secretary General in his efforts to achieve a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus dispute that meets the needs of all Cypriots,'' he said.

Downer's statement notes that the appointment of a special envoy for Cyprus Jim Short ''underlines the government's deep concern about the long-standing division of Cyprus.''

Short remains engaged in support of the efforts of the Secretary General, the statement concludes.

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