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President Clerides meets US envoy on Cyprus
2003-01-17 09:53:28

Nicosia, Jan 17 (CNA) -- US State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston said the US wants to see a settlement to the Cyprus problem reached in a very short period of time.

He was speaking after meeting President Glafcos Clerides, on the first day of his meetings on the island following his arrival on Thursday.

At the same time, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said it is clear from Weston's briefing that "we are in the midst of developments and in a very crucial point in deliberations to solve the Cyprus problem".|

"This is another one of our very productive conversations, but this one comes at a very crucial time in negotiations", Weston said.

"I think once again we found that we have an incredibly cooperative relationship and trying to meet the common goal of a settlement to the division of the island, a settlement which is just and durable and a settlement which we very much want to see reached in a very short period of time", Weston added.

Papapetrou said Clerides and Weston reviewed the latest Cyprus developments and the President informed the US diplomat on his evaluations and his conclusions from the first meeting this week of the new round of the UN-led direct talks.

President Clerides meets again Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash this afternoon, in the UN-controlled Nicosia area, in the presence of UN Secretary- General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto.

Weston briefed Clerides on the US assessment (on Cyprus) and his visits to Ankara and Athens, Spokesman said.

Papapetrou said "from Mr. Weston's statements, it is clear that not only developments are expected, we are in the midst of developments, at a very crucial point of the Cyprus problem".

Asked if Weston conveyed something new, Papapetrou avoided giving details about the contents of the meeting, adding, "I am neither confirming or rejecting what you said". He referred the journalists to Weston.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.

CNA/EC/GP/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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