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Denktash returns to Hotel, Ekhard says UN received no submissions yet
2002-12-04 15:13:27

By Apostolis Zoupaniotis -- United Nations, Dec 4 (CNA) ? Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash returned to his hotel after being rushed to hospital here Wednesday without indicating when he will reply to a letter by the UN Secretary General last week requesting the points the two sides in Cyprus wished changed in a Cyprus solution plan submitted by the UN chief on November 11.

At the same time Kofi Annan's Spokesman, Fred Eckhard said the UN has still not received any submissions by the two sides but stressed the deadline of the 12th of December was fixed and although there is still time, much will depend on the extensiveness or lack of extensiveness of the comments of each side on the draft proposal.

Returning to his hotel after medical exams at the Presbyterian hospital in New York, Denktash said he felt "fine".

Speaking to Turkish journalists, he said he was still studying his reply to the UN Secretary-General, which will be given to the latter simultaneously with the Greek Cypriot side.

"We will do whatever we have to do to defend our rights", he said. According to the Turkish journalists, the reply will be given tomorrow.

Asked when he will return to the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus, Denktash said he wanted to return on Friday, despite the fact that fluid is still building up in his lungs.

Meanwhile, UN Spokesman Fred Eckhard said the UN has still not received any submissions by the two sides.

Eckhard told reporters "as of noon, we had not received any submissions and I can't predict how long it would take to reconcile the two positions until we see what the substantive comments on the Secretary General's proposal are from each side".

He said the "deadline is fixed, the 12th of December, and we still have a few days and as the Secretary General said yesterday there is still time but much will depend on the extensiveness or lack of extensiveness of the comments of each side on the draft proposal".

Invited to comment on statements made by Denktash that he disagreed with Kofi Annan's statement that his dream is to see Cyprus as one state in the EU, Eckhard said that when Denktash "submits his comments in writing we will deal with those as we will with those submitted by the Greek-Cypriots". He said he did not want to respond to public statements made by either side as there is a process underway at the UN "and we are waiting for the responses".

Reliable Security Council sources told CNA that they are irritated by the delay which Denktash continues to show, and that it has already been conveyed to him that the reply should be given today.|

Denktash underwent open-heart surgery on October 7 at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. He was originally discharged from hospital on October 25, after undergoing two operations, open-heart surgery and another follow up operation but was readmitted on November 17 because of high fever and discharged on November 28.

CNA/AZ/EC/ΚΝ/2002
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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