The US believes UN's revised version should lead to rapid agreement on Cyprus
by Demetris Apokis --
Washington, Dec 11 (CNA) ? The US believes the UN Secretary General's
revised proposal on Cyprus should lead to a rapid agreement on Cyprus and
that this proposal protects the legitimate interests of both Turkish Cypriots and
Greek Cypriots as well as those of Greece and Turkey.
In a statement, US Deputy State Department Spokesman, Philip T. Reeker said "we welcome the decision today by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to submit a revised version of his November 11 comprehensive settlement proposal to the two sides on Cyprus".
"We believe the revised proposal contains important changes that represent significant improvements for both sides. These changes", Reeker said, "reflect the concerns of both sides and are the direct result of intensive UN talks in Cyprus over the past few days and the substantive comments provided by the two sides to the UN regarding its November 11 proposal".|
"This is a defining moment when history can be written by courageous leaders with vision", the State Department Deputy Spokesman said, adding "we continue to urge at the highest levels the two sides, Turkey and Greece, to seize the historic opportunity to reach a settlement before the European Union makes its decision on enlargement at its Copenhagen summit December 12-13".
"We believe this should occur on the basis of the UN's revised Cyprus settlement proposal, which we believe protects the legitimate interests of both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots as well as those of Greece and Turkey", the statement concluded.
The EU summit in Copenhagen this week is expected to invite Cyprus and another nine candidate countries to join the Union in 2004.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY