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Annan, UN envoy to discuss way ahead for Cyprus talks

Annan, UN envoy to discuss way ahead for Cyprus talks

The United Nations envoy for Cyprus voiced disappointment today that recent talks between the Greek Cypriot leader, Glafcos Clerides, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, failed to result in a framework for resolving their differences.

Alvaro de Soto, speaking to reporters at Larnaca Airport before heading to Vienna, where he will discuss with Secretary-General Kofi Annan the way ahead for the talks, said that the UN had hoped that by the end of June, there would be a basic sense of the core issues.

"We felt that this would have greatly facilitated the legal drafting that remains," said Mr. de Soto, the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Cyprus. "We therefore are disappointed that it was not possible to do that."

Reiterating the Secretary-General's previous statements on the issue, Mr. de Soto said that a solution was possible but required political will and a spirit of compromise. "Obviously more of that is going to be needed in the coming period if the opportunity that's available this year is going to be seized," he said.

Mr. de Soto said he would return to Cyprus to meet with the leaders around 15 July before they resumed their direct talks the next day.