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Cypriot official: Cyprus problem cannot be solved today
2002-12-13 13:57:07

by Maria Myles -- Copenhagen, Dec 13 (CNA) -- The Cyprus problem cannot be solved today, Cyprus Attorney General Alecos Markides said here today, after a last ditch attempt by the UN to have an agreement signed by the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides on a comprehensive settlement before the European Union takes its final decision on Cyprus' accession.

Speaking outside the Eigtveds Pakhus, a building adjacent to the Danish Foreign Ministry, Markides expressed disappointment about today's development but stressed that the Greek Cypriot side will continue in good faith the negotiations to find a solution in Cyprus, if possible by 28 February 2003, so that a reunited Cyprus can sign the Treaty of Accession in April 2003.

''There were no negotiations, this issue is finished. The question of Cyprus cannot be resolved today. Cyprus moves ahead with accession without a political settlement,'' Markides said.

He said the Greek Cypriot side, having accepted a UN proposal as a basis for negotiations, will keep its word and continue negotiations after Copenhagen with a view at finding a solution.

Replying to questions, he said UN Secretary General's special envoy on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto, who leads the negotiating process, had told him that having talked to the Turkish Cypriot side for about two hours, he concluded that it was impossible to have a solution on the Cyprus problem today.|

''De Soto asked for our position with regard to the future, I reiterated our policy that we will continue the negotiations after Copenhagen on the basis of a proposal the Secretary General has submitted to the two sides,'' Markides added.

If the other side expresses its willingness to continue or to renew negotiations, any time after today we are here to do so, he said.

''We are very keen to settle the Cyprus problem so that a united Cyprus signs the treaty of accession with the European Union,'' the Attorney General said,

Asked if he was disappointed, he replied ''we are disappointed, because our primary goal was to find a solution, along the correct lines for the benefit of all Cypriots, I do not attribute any fault or blame on our side.''

He said he believed that the UN and others know that President Glafcos Clerides ''took a lot of initiatives and showed the utmost will and made a lot of concessions but the other side did not find it possible to come to terms with a compromise.''

As he explained the UN gathered at the Pakhus building representatives of all interested parties, and de Soto had consultations with the Turkish Cypriot representative and later on informed him that his (de Soto's) attempt to begin substantive negotiations had come to nothing.

''Therefore we should consider that today it is not possible to solve the Cyprus problem,'' he concluded.

CNA/MM/GP/2002
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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