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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-01-16
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Thursday, 16 January 2003
 President Clerides meets Rauf Denktash in the framework of UN-led peace talksThe President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Glafcos Clerides, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktash, met yesterday at the UN- controlled Nicosia airport area in the presence of the UN Secretary- General's Special Advisor on Cyprus, Mr. Alvaro de Soto.
They reiterated their commitment to negotiate on the basis of the revised UN plan for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, and agreed to hold another direct meeting tomorrow, 17 January, in order to come up with a programme for intensive negotiations during the coming weeks.
The UN issued a statement yesterday, on the resumption of the Cyprus direct peace talks, which reads as follows:
"[This] morning at 11:30 in Cyprus, His Excellency Glafcos Clerides, the Greek Cypriot leader, and His Excellency, Rauf Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader, met in the UN area in the presence of the Secretary- General's Special Advisor, Alvaro de Soto. The discussions continued over lunch, which ended at 2.30 p.m. A UN note-taker was present throughout.
The leaders reiterated their commitment to negotiate on the basis of the Secretary-General's revised proposal of December 10, 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 March 30, 2003.
The leaders have agreed to meet again, together with their advisers, on Friday January 17, 2003, at 4.00 p.m. A programme for intensive negotiations in the coming weeks would be agreed then.
The work of the technical committees will continue in parallel."
 "Outcome of peace talks depends on international factors", says President CleridesPresident Clerides stated yesterday, prior to his departure from the Presidential Palace to attend the meeting with Mr. Rauf Denktash, that the UN-led peace talks for a solution of the Cyprus problem would continue, but their outcome would depend on several international factors.
Asked to comment on statements made the day before yesterday by the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus, Mr. Clerides noted that "for the first time, he [Kofi Annan] referred to the Cyprus problem", adding that "the Secretary- General seems to believe that there are possibilities for a solution of the Cyprus problem".
Invited to say whether Mr. Annan's statements allowed room for optimism regarding the outcome of the talks, Mr. Clerides said, "Talks will continue. Their outcome will depend on several international factors".
Asked if that could happen by 28 February, the President explained that "this is something that we will see once the negotiations begin", adding that "[today's] meeting will be a private one to decide how we move on".
 Prygin: Russia notes Greek Cypriot side's constructive stance in UN talksThe Russian Foreign Ministry's Special Envoy on Cyprus, Mr. Vladimir Prygin, stated, after a meeting with President Clerides early this morning at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, that Russia took note of the Greek Cypriot side's constructive stance in the efforts to find a solution of the Cyprus problem and its positive approach vis-a-vis the Annan plan.
The Russian official expressed hope that the new round of UN-led talks would be productive, leading towards a viable, just and functional solution of the Cyprus issue.
On his turn, the Cyprus President said that he briefed Mr. Prygin on the latest developments with regard to the Cyprus problem as well as on what the Greek Cypriot side would try to achieve at the negotiations.
Mr. Clerides also expressed his gratitude to Mr. Prygin for his country's constant support for a viable and just settlement in Cyprus.
 Foreign Minister welcomes statements by Kofi Annan and Richard BoucherThe Foreign Minister, Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides, referred yesterday to the statements by the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, and the US State Department's Spokesman, Mr. Richard Boucher, regarding Tuesday's mass demonstrations by Turkish Cypriots in the occupied areas, saying that it was the first time that the international community was suggesting to Mr. Denktash that he should step down since he had lost the trust of the Turkish Cypriot community.
"This shows", Mr. Kasoulides stressed, "that in spite of the pre-election period now underway, we are witnessing intense deliberations for a solution of the Cyprus problem".
Asked to say whether he believed that the intransigent stance of the Turkish Cypriot leader might be changed, the Foreign Minister noted that "if Mr. Denktash's intransigence is not lifted, he will be removed". He added that "this might occur in March or April, and not necessarily by 28 February."
"The determination of the international community is there. Why should we hurry? It is the Turkish side that has to do its homework and decide…", Mr. Kasoulides said.
He also expressed the belief that the international community's determination to meet the 28 February deadline for reaching a solution was a given, and that there would be a great international effort towards that direction.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/