Annan wraps up second day of talks with Greek Cypriot, Turkish Cypriot leaders

Annan wraps up second day of talks with Greek Cypriot, Turkish Cypriot leaders

Annan with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders
In an effort to help bridge their differences "pragmatically," the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders have decided to create two committees to begin work immediately on important technical issues, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced today following a second day of talks with the two officials.

The purpose of the two ad hoc bilateral technical committees is to make recommendations on technical matters, without prejudice to the positions of the two leaders on the core issues concerned, the Secretary-General said in a statement that was read out by Alvaro de Soto, his Special Adviser on Cyprus.

The statement was issued just after Mr. Annan's meeting at UN Headquarters in New York with His Excellency Glafcos Clerides, the Greek Cypriot leader, and His Excellency Rauf Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader.

According to the statement, the committees' work "shall be ad referendum, and shall focus on treaties and future laws," and the UN would help the parties in this work. [Mr. de Soto noted that the term was a provisional designation to describe the state that would be "at the centre of a reunified Cyprus."]

"There is no simple solution the Cyprus problem," the statement said. "For this reason, a comprehensive settlement has to be a complex, integrated, legally binding and self-executing agreement, where the rights and obligations of all concerned are clear, unambiguous and not subject to further negotiation. I hope the work of the committees will help the leaders towards this end."

The Secretary-General also stressed that Greece and Turkey had an important role to play and said he looked forward to their continued support. Meanwhile, with Mr. Denktash due to undergo surgery soon and unlikely to available for a few weeks, Mr. Annan said that work will continue in October and that he has asked the leaders to clear their diaries during November "when I am looking forward to seeing them again."