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Kasoulides sees possibility of agreement on procedure
2002-12-08 10:14:38

Larnaca, Dec 8 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides does not ruled out the possibility of an agreement on the procedure of the peace effort in conjunction with a commitment by all interested parties to work on a UN proposal, with a view at reaching a comprehensive settlement.

The minister called for unity and wisdom in the days ahead, which he believes will be "particularly crucial" for Cyprus, and said that public remarks should not be taken at face value because a lot is going on behind the scenes these days.

"I would not rule out the possibility of seeing an agreement on procedure and a commitment that we shall all work for a solution on the basis of the Secretary General's proposal," Kasoulides said, on his departure for Brussels.|

The minister explained that at present there is nothing in the offing but the likelihood of a statement exists, if no agreement is reached on the substance of the foundation agreement, included in the UN proposal which basically commits the two sides in Cyprus to further negotiations on a comprehensive settlement by the end of February next year.

Kasoulides said the next few days leading up to the Copenhagen summit (12- 13 December) are "pivotal", adding that "there will be pressure" at the summit.

Invited to comment on statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader, he said "during these crucial days ahead of us, one should not take at face value public remarks because a lot is going on behind the scenes which does not necessarily relate to public comments."

Rauf Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader, said Saturday on his return to Cyprus, after an absence of more than two months for medical reasons, that he does not accept the territorial adjustments proposed in the UN plan, and demanded sovereignty for his self-styled regime in Turkish occupied Cyprus.

Kasoulides said third parties present the Turkish positions as "completely different" to the public views Denktash expressed on arrival in occupied Cyprus.

In Brussels the foreign minister will participate in a ministerial meeting of candidate countries with the EU and have separate meetings with the Dutch foreign minister and British envoy on Cyprus Lord David Hannay.

Kasoulides will also go to Rome for a meeting with his Italian counterpart and then fly to Copenhagen where President Clerides will be on Wednesday for the EU summit, expected to invite Cyprus and another nine applicant countries to join in 2004.

CNA MM/2002

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