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UN SG - letters - Cyprus
2002-12-19 09:50:57

United Nations, Dec 19 (CNA) -- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has sent letters to the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities in Cyprus, as well as to the leaders of Greece and Turkey, charting the road ahead and the work to be done in order to reach an agreement on a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem by the end of February 2003.

Speaking to journalists at the UN headquarters in New York yesterday, at the end of a meeting of the Security Council which was briefed on efforts to achieve a Cyprus settlement, Annan's special advisor on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto said the Secretary General also drew attention in his letters to the need for work to be done in January in order to achieve agreement.

''The Secretary General has written to the two leaders today, as well as to the two leaders of Greece and Turkey, setting out the road ahead as he sees it and the work he thinks needs to be done and drawing attention to the need to move very quickly on a number of issues that are pending,'' de Soto said.

The UN representative on Cyprus said he and the Secretary General had received ''strong support'' from the members of the Security Council and pointed out that there was ''a lot of work to be done in the 10 weeks ahead.''|

He expressed the hope that the work would be done, adding that his aids were on Cyprus for this purpose. De Soto is expected to return to the island on January 7.

''We hope we will achieve success in the time remaining,'' he said.

Asked what the next deadline was and when the leaders had to answer to the Secretary General, de Soto said the UN did not like talking about deadlines, adding that the two ad hoc committees suggested by Annan to deal with legislation for Cyprus after a settlement and international treaties entered into by Cyprus should begin work as soon as possible.

''We are hoping for work to take place this week, some preliminary work and for work to take place by each of the two sides separately, in preparation for the very intensive efforts that should take place in January, particularly,'' he said.

Asked if he was referring to the two ad hoc committees, de Soto said ''that's one of the areas where work needs to be done.''

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

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