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UN envoy: Cyprus talks must resume in earnest
2003-01-10 13:31:24

Constantinople, Jan 10 (CNA) -- Peace talks on a negotiated settlement in Cyprus should begin urgently, Alvaro de Soto, UN Secretary General's special adviser on Cyprus said today after talks in Ankara with Undersecretary at the Foreign Ministry Ugur Ziyal.

De Soto also said that a UN proposal on a comprehensive settlement could be amended if the overall balance is maintained.

''In our view, the (UN) plan represents a balanced approach to the problem, fair to everyone. If the two sides agree on changes and preserve the overall balance, changes can be made,'' de Soto said.

He said the plan is still on the table, adding that if the two sides focus on the plan with a sense of urgency, it is still possible to reach an agreement before the end of February, as indicated in the plan.|

The UN official said that he would be in Cyprus next week and negotiations can resume.

According to Turkish TV network NTV, de Soto said he was not bringing any proposals on changes to the UN revised plan, put forward by the Secretary General to the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides in December.

The UN has said it wants the two sides to conclude an agreement by 28 February, to allow enough time for a reunited Cyprus to join the European Union and sign the Accession Treaty in mid April.

CNA EA/MM/MK/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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