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UN envoy to begin separate meetings with parties to Cyprus talks

Alvaro de Soto, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, informed the leaders that he believed this was the best way to facilitate forward movement on the core issues, given the difficulty of formulating in direct talks a package of trade-offs to improve the plan proposed by Mr. Annan to reunify the island ahead of its entry into the European Union on 1 May.”While this process is underway, there will not necessarily be daily meetings between the leaders,” spokesman Fred Eckhard said in New York. “They will meet as necessary.”Last month, the Greek Cypriot leader, Tassos Papadopoulos, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, agreed to continue talks until 22 March. Should discussions fail to reach agreement by then, Greece and Turkey will also join negotiations for a week.If the talks succeed in reaching agreement on modifications to the plan, then the entire proposal will be submitted to separate referenda for approval by the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots.

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