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UN: Unprecedented progress must be consolidated to reach solution
2002-12-13 13:51:59

By Apostolis Zoupaniotis -- United Nations, Dec 13 (CNA) -- The UN has said it is very important the unprecedented progress that has been made on the Cyprus problem be consolidated and efforts to be redoubled to achieve a settlement until 28 February 2003.

UN Spokesman Fred Eckhard said it is regrettable the current opportunity has been missed yet both sides expressed their willingness to continue negotiations. He also said the UN Security Council would convene on Cyprus either Monday or Tuesday.

In a statement, Eckhard said "Alvaro De Soto, the Secretary General's advisor on Cyprus, has held intensive consultations in Copenhagen in the 12th and the 13th. Unfortunately it has not proved possible to achieve a comprehensive settlement. However, the parties' positions have never been closer and agreement seemed possible up until the last minute". |

"The SG's revised 10th December proposal remains on the table", Eckhard said, noting it "thus it is regrettable that the current opportunity has been missed. Both sides have expressed their willingness to continue negotiations", he added.

"It is very important the unprecedented progress that has been made should be consolidated and that all concerned redouble their efforts to achieve a settlement in the coming period", Eckhard added.

"An opportunity remains particularly until the 28th of February to resolve this problem and achieve a comprehensive settlement which will allow a re-united Cyprus to get in the European Union", the UN spokesman said.

He said de Soto would be traveling to New York tomorrow to report to the Secretary General.

Asked when the Security Council will discuss Cyprus, he said Monday or Tuesday.

On who is responsible, Eckhard replied, "you read the newspapers, you will understand".

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.

The Copenhagen European Council is expected to announce later Friday Cyprus' accession to the EU together with nine other countries.

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

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