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UN hope Copenhagen to provide deadline for Cyprus agreement
2002-12-11 22:29:26

By Apostolis Zoupaniotis United Nations, Dec 11 (CNA) -- The United Nations hope that Copenhagen will provide the context and the deadline for an agreement on a solution to the Cyprus problem.

UN Spokesman Fred Eckhard told his daily briefing that the UN were trying to get the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides together in the Danish capital "to see if we can close the final gaps."|

Asked whether the UN have any indication that the two sides in Cyprus are willing to reach a final agreement in Copenhagen, the spokesman said "we don't have an indication one way or the other. Obviously what we are trying to do now that we have revised the proposal in light of the comments of both sides, we are hoping that Copenhagen will provide the context and the deadline... for an agreement."

The spokesman said he was not in a position, at the moment, "to predict that they are ready to compromise, ready to agree on a final statement. We are trying to get them together in Copenhagen to see if we can close the final gaps."

Eckhard said consultations on Cyprus were held yesterday in Nicosia on the proposal put forward by the Secretary General.

"Unfortunately, the Turkish Cypriot leader H.E. Rauf Denktash was unwell and not able to see the SG's Special Adviser Alvaro de Soto in the afternoon", the UN spokesman noted.

He said de Soto met instead with Denktash's adviser Ergun Olgun but spoke to Denktash by telephone last night.

Alvaro de Soto met twice yesterday with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, before Clerides presides over a marathon session of the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus problem.

The Council made up of political party leaders discussed the UN chief's revised peace plan conveyed to the two sides earlier yesterday.

Both President Clerides and Alvaro de Soto travelled today to Copenhagen. President Clerides was invited to go to the Danish capital, where the European Union leaders will take final decisions on EU enlargment, including Cyprus.

Eckhard told the press that "in his letter to the two leaders on December the 9th, the Secretary General invited both sides to be available in Copenhagen should that prove necessary which in light of yesterday's inconclusive consultations it clearly is, if the opportunity that is at hand is to be seized".

Asked if the SG will be going to Copenhagen, Eckhard replied, "as of now (mid-day) he has no plans to go, so nothing has changed since yesterday".

He also said that the Security Council would not meet on Cyprus at this time.

To a question whether there is a schedule of meetings between the two communities in Copenhagen and who is going to represent the Turkish Cypriot side, Eckhard replied "we don't have a programme and we don't know who might represent the Turkish side if as expected Mr. Denktash will not be able to travel to Copenhagen for health reasons".

Regarding Turkey's leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan's meeting with Kofi Annan in New York, Eckhard said Erdogan and the Secretary-General "of course, reviewed Turkish relations with the European Union, they talked a lot about Cyprus obviously and UN - Turkish relations", noting "that's about all I can say".


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