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Annan: There is still time to conclude an agreement on Cyprus
2002-12-03 15:07:27

by Apostolis Zoupaniotis -- United Nations, Dec 3 (CNA) ? UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan believes there is ''plenty of time'' until the Copenhagen Summit, for Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to conclude an agreement on Cyprus.

Annan refused to reveal what he will do if there is no settlement by December 12.

Replying to reporters' questions, upon entering the UN headquarters in New York, Kofi Annan stated that his special adviser Alvaro De Soto is in the region ''working very actively with the leaders to get the answers".

"I think", the UN chief, said, "we have time to come to an honorable agreement and as I have indicated, the timetable was part and parcel of the proposals. There is still time to conclude an agreement".|

''The issues are not new", he said, noting the UN has been working on them for years. "Luckily the same team of the same leaders have been working with us on these issues for over 25 years. And we do have time to come to an agreement''.

Replying to a question of CNA, he insisted, ''the time has not run out. Today is the 3rd of December. We have almost 9-10 days and I think that's plenty of time''.

Asked what his dream for Cyprus is, Annan said he would like to "see a united Cyprus admitted to the European Union, and a Cyprus which will enter EU and prosper as one nation. I think the people have gone through this conflict for several decades and we now have an opportunity to end it", Annan said.

"I hope the two leaders will seize the opportunity and bring peace and stability to the island and make history'', the UN Secretary-General concluded.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.



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