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Clerides and Denktash conclude meeting
2003-01-15 10:28:31

Nicosia, Jan 15 (CNA) - President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash resumed their UN-led direct talks on the Cyprus problem today and reiterated their commitment to negotiate on the basis of a UN proposal, with a view to reaching an agreement by the end of February.

A statement issued by the UN good offices mission in Cyprus reads that the leaders of the two communities have agreed to meet again on January 17 and that a programme for intensive negotiations in the coming weeks would be agreed then.|

President Clerides and Denktash met this morning in the presence of the UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto and discussions continued over lunch.

''The leaders reiterated their commitment to negotiate on the basis of the Secretary General's revised proposal of 10 December 2002, with a view to completing an agreement by the end of February so that informed decisions can be taken by the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots in separate referenda on 30 March 2003'', the statement says.

It adds that ''the leaders have agreed to meet again, together with their advisers, on Friday, 17 January 2003 and a programme for intensive negotiations in the coming weeks would be agreed then''.

''The work of the technical committees will continue in parallel'', it concludes.

The ad hoc bicommunal committees are dealing with the treaties and the legislation that will be in force once there is a settlement.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has submitted a revised proposal of his original solution plan, which the leaders of the two communities, who are engaged in direct talks, are discussing.

CNA/RG/MM/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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