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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-05-28

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Invitations to talks soon

  • 1630:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Invitations to talks soon

    by Maria Myles

    Nicosia, May 28 (CNA) -- Invitations to direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash are expected to be conveyed to them within the next ten days, UN diplomatic sources have said.

    Following reports to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan by UN Under Secretary-General for political affairs, Sir Kieran Prendergast, and his envoy in Cyprus Gustave Feissel, which recommend the convening of talks, Annan will almost certainly invite the two leaders for face-to-face talks "at the end of June or beginning of July," the same sources, who requested anonymity, told CNA.

    The date and location of talks, they explained, would depend on availability of the venue, Annan's schedule and the time all players involved can afford this attempt.

    "At this stage, there is nothing concrete about talks starting on July 7," they remarked.

    The location of the talks would not be "more than an hour's drive from New York, it would be outside the UN headquarters in a state where the two leaders will be able to have more informal contact with each other in a more relaxed atmosphere," they added.

    The first session of talks will last about "one week" and it will be followed by two other similar rounds of negotiations, one in Switzerland and one in New York.

    "One must not anticipate the outcome of the talks, it is important that the talks develop in a positive note," the sources explained, noting that the first round of talks "may not yield any concrete results as such".

    "This may come at the end of the talks, which Clerides and Denktash will conduct within a respite of two to three weeks in between the sessions, " they said.

    The agenda for the talks, they said, will be taken up with the two sides but "nothing will be announced ahead of the talks."

    Referring to the proximity talks, which ended after more than 30 hours of discussions between the UN and Clerides and Denktash, the sources said the objective was to try and identify "possible areas of flexibility to facilitate direct negotiations."

    "Contact continues with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides but not in the intensive manner of the past few weeks," they said.

    The sources avoided any comment on the content or the outcome of the proximity talks and refrained from making any prediction about the outcome of the direct talks, citing a common understanding to shroud the talks in secrecy.

    Commenting on a military dialogue the UN has been carrying out with the Turkish occupation troops and the National Guard, the UN sources said "it is going on slowly and the two sides have promised to communicate their comments on a UN package of measures either this week or next."

    The UN, the sources said, continues to insist that the two sides should take a stance on all three items in the package (removal of loaded weapons in areas the two sides are in close proximity, code of conduct for soldiers serving along the cease-fire line and extending the unmanning agreement).

    CNA MM/AP/1997

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