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Turkish Cypriot side still not able to respond to Annan
2002-11-20 10:14:38

by Apostolis Zoupaniotis -- United Nations, Nov 20 (CNA) -- Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's adviser Ergun Olgun has said the Turkish Cypriot side sent yesterday a letter to the UN Secretary General, putting forward its position, regarding the time schedule that has been suggested by Kofi Annan as regards his plan for a Cyprus settlement.

''That official application I don't think has been made through to the SG ... I don't think what you have now is a reply to today's letter,'' Olgun said invited to comment to a UN spokesman statement which said Kofi Annan was very concerned and that ''further delay could result in the disappearance of the opportunity.''

Olgun told CNA that President Glafcos Clerides had already had the chance to talk to the Greek government about the Annan plan and noted that Denktash did not have the opportunity to talk about it to the Turkish authorities.|

''How do you expect somebody without consulting Turkish Authorities to respond? Is it fair?,'' he asked.

Referring to the reasons of the delay of the Turkish Cypriot response to Annan, Olgun reiterated that ''we have not had the chance, like Mr Clerides, to talk to Turkish authorities'' and ''that Mr Denktash (the Turkish Cypriot leader) is a sick man, he must get his recovery.''

He noted that the preliminary reaction of his side ''will be the guideline for what happens next.''

Olgun said that the Turkish Cypriot answer will be sent to Kofi Annan when Rauf Denktash completes his consultations.

President Clerides has replied to Annan, within the seven-day timeframe the UN chief had set, that he accepts the UN plan as a basis to start negotiations.

Olgun said ''it can not be a resolution to the Cyprus issue with only one side. Both sides need to be able to do their homework and prepare themselves to be able to engage in this thing,'' noting that this is beyond the capacity, the reach of Turkish Cypriot leader.

''The Greek Cypriot side and the UN must have the courtesy to be able to accommodate that,'' Olgun said.

Invited to say when the Turkish Cypriot leader will be leaving New York, where he is recovering from an open heart surgery, Olgun said he did not know.

''This is a health situation, something we can not predict. It varies from moment to moment, from day to day. We expect him to recover as early as possible to return to Cyprus and he has attempted that with nearly fatal conclusions. He is in the hospital now,'' Olgun concluded.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

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