Annan considering trip to Cyprus, region, by end of February - spokesman

Annan considering trip to Cyprus, region, by end of February - spokesman

Secretary-General Kofi Annan
The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, is considering a trip to Cyprus and the region during the end of February, a UN spokesman said today.

Spokesman Fred Eckhard told the press at UN Headquarters in New York that the last week of the month was the period during which an agreement on Cyprus must be reached if the opportunity that now existed were to be seized.

"[The Secretary-General] strongly hopes that the negotiations under way will be successful, and is prepared to continue playing a personal role to this end. Greece and Turkey have been approached on this possible visit," Mr. Eckhard said in response to questions from the press.

He noted that the precise itinerary of the Secretary-General's travel would reflect a judgment made closer to the time regarding the possibility of his playing a personal role in bringing efforts to achieve a comprehensive settlement to a decisive conclusion.

The spokesman also noted that Alvaro de Soto, the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, was in New York today and Thursday to meet with Mr. Annan.