Cyprus: Annan hails agreement by Clerides and Denktash to start negotiations
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed the agreement reached today by Glafcos Clerides, the Greek Cypriot leader, and Rauf Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader, to meet next year.
"The Secretary-General is very pleased at the agreement reached today by Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktash to start direct negotiations in mid-January 2002, at his invitation," said spokesman Fred Eckhard in a statement on Mr. Annan's behalf.
"In the exercise of his mission of good offices, the Secretary-General is ready to assist the parties as necessary in their effort to achieve a comprehensive settlement," the statement noted.
The agreement followed a face-to-face meeting between Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktash in the UN Protected Area in Cyprus. That meeting was also attended by Alvaro de Soto, the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Cyprus.