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President to reply to SG by Monday
2002-12-20 09:56:50

Nicosia, Dec 20 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides will reply in writing to a letter by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on his good offices mission with regard to Cyprus by Monday, at the latest, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said here today.

The spokesman also said Annan's letter, sent to the Turkish Cypriot leader and the governments of Greece and Turkey as well, has asked the two sides to intensify in a specific manner their efforts to find a settlement by 28 February.

''The Secretary General refers to a visit by his special adviser Alvaro de Soto to Ankara and Athens in early January before he returns to the island around the 8 January to begin intensive efforts for a settlement in the first two months of the year,'' Papapetrou said.

The spokesman said he would not make any further comment on the content of the letter until after the President sends his reply to Annan.

He did however say that in his letter Annan defines the points which he believes should be the object of negotiations between the two sides.

Press reports which printed a translation of Annan's letter note that the SG expresses his determination to see the peace talks continue, in spite of the failure to reach a settlement prior to the European Union summit, last week in Copenhagen.|

Annan said the second target date of 28 February 2003 for achieving a comprehensive settlement can still be met and should be observed and noted that this necessitates intensive negotiations during the first two months of January 2003.

The SG said that his revised proposal on a comprehensive settlement remains on the table and points to the need for a clear road map.

In a note, attached to the letter, which appeared in the press as well, Annan outlined three areas that need to be addressed without delay if a comprehensive settlement is to be achieved by 28 February.

These he identifies as agreement on substantative issues, agreement and completion of the text on security issues and the completion of the text on technical issues.


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