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UN envoy says Cyprus talks entering new phase
2002-12-06 14:39:05

Nicosia, Dec 6 (CNA) - The UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto handed here today to Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides the reply of the Turkish Cypriot side to a letter sent to them by the UN chief last week requesting the points they wished changed in a Cyprus solution plan submitted by Kofi Annan on November 11. <

Speaking after the handover of the reply, de Soto said that the Greek Cypriot side's reply would be delivered to Turkish Cypriot Leader Rauf Denktash's aide, Ergun Olgun, today, noting that he will be meeting with President Clerides tomorrow morning.

''I hope this is the beginning of an entirely new phase in the negotiations'', de Soto said.|

''I have given Mr. Clerides the paper I have received from Mr. Denktash that was addressed to the Secretary General and I have given it to him in the strictest confidence'', he said.

The Peruvian diplomat also noted that he would be giving the Greek Cypriot side's reply to Olgun ''also in the strictest confidence''.

He said that he requested that both sides maintain ''the content of these papers totally in reserve'', adding that ''there should be no public discussions on either paper''.

The UN envoy noted that ''to show that we are actually turning a new leaf and entering a genuine phase of very accelerated negotiations'', he will be meeting with President Clerides tomorrow morning.

He also said that he would henceforth be saying ''strictly nothing about what is going on''.

Invited to clarify what he meant by saying a new phase of negotiations, he said ''with a view to reaching decisive conclusions very very soon''.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


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