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Security Council Breif On Cyprus Settlement Plan

UN Adviser To Brief Security Council On Cyprus Settlement Plan Friday

With the final plan to reunify Cyprus before its entry into the European Union on 1 May now in the hands of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot voters for approval, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Adviser is scheduled to brief the Security Council tomorrow on the latest developments.

"The deed is done," Special Adviser Alvaro de Soto told the press last night in Bürgenstock, Switzerland, where the final negotiations on Mr. Annan's settlement plan were held.

Mr. de Soto said he believed that the plan had been considerably improved in recent days, and that it would allow the separate constituent states to run their own affairs in safety and in dignity.

"It is now in the hands of the people but, of course, the leaders have an important responsibility to explain to the people the plan and the conditions in which they have to take the decisions and the options, if any," he said.

Just before last night's midnight deadline Mr. Annan presented his final blueprint for resolving the decades-long problem to the Greek and Turkish Cypriot delegations, as well as the Prime Ministers of Greece and Turkey, and officials from the United Kingdom and the European Union.

The 9,000-page text containing the basic settlement plan - which calls for a federal government composed of two constituent states - as well as legal formulas and other annexes, will now be voted on by the Greek and Turkish Cypriots in separate, simultaneous referenda on 24 April.

Mr. de Soto told reporters that he will travel to New York to brief the Security Council Friday "in order to prepare them for a concrete proposal that will be presented on behalf of the leaders by the Secretary-General for a considerable transformation of the United Nations peacekeeping operation, which will become an operation of a different type."

The UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus was set up in 1964 to prevent further fighting between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots and since 1974 has been supervising ceasefire lines, maintaining a buffer zone and undertaking humanitarian activities.

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