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Alvaro de Soto still hopeful for last minute deal on Cyprus
2003-01-10 13:01:32

Constantinople, Jan 10 (CNA) -- Alvaro de Soto, UN Secretary General's special adviser on Cyprus, continues to believe that a solution in Cyprus can be achieved even at the eleventh hour.

''We may reach a solution in the last moment. Unfortunately, a solution could not be reached so far. The plan was presented to the sides. I hope that they would send their response soon,'' de Soto said on arrival in Ankara for talks with Ugur Ziyal, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He said his contacts in Ankara would focus on the need to accelerate the peace process in Cyprus.|

Asked which court the ball is at present, de Soto said ''the ball is not in the court of the UN.''

Referring to the work of two ad hoc bicommunal technical committees, comprising Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot representatives, de Soto said they have to work hard to complete their task.

The two committees will deal with the treaties and the legislation that would be in force in Cyprus, once a political settlement is achieved.

De Soto is due in Cyprus early next week for the start of a fresh effort in the negotiating process. The UN envoy is also scheduled to go to Athens on the 16 for talks with the Greek government.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.


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