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UN wishes to move ahead with Cyprus peace process
2002-11-27 16:07:41

by Apostolis Zoupaniotis United Nations, Nov 27 (CNA) - The UN wishes to move ahead with the Cyprus peace process now that the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides have said they would negotiate on a UN proposal on a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.

Stephan Dujarric, UN Secretery General's spokesman, said here today that Kofi Annan expects the leaders of the two sides to respond by Saturday to his letter outlining their comments, suggestions or requests on his proposal, submitted to them on November 11.|

Replying to questions, he said that ''the important thing is we have answers from both Mr Clerides (President of Cyprus) and Mr Denktash (Turkish Cypriot leader) saying they are willing to move forward on negotiations on the plan. Now, we go back to them and ask for more substantive remarks. And we await those remarks.''

Asked if the Secretary General is considering having both leaders in New York for negotiations, he said he had no information on that.

Invited to say if Annan still believes there is enough time until the European Union December summit to conclude an agreement, Dujarric said ''time is very important on this. The clock is obviously ticking. We got the first positive initial responses so we like to move ahead. As I said, he would like to receive comments by November 30th.''

President Glafcos Clerides replied within the deadline (November 18) set by the UN, saying he accepted the UN proposal as a basis for negotiations.

Denktash, who was in hospital recovering from open-heart surgery, gave his reply today.

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