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18 June, 1999
The group of most industrialized countries plus Russia (G8), which will discuss the Cyprus problem during the weekend, are not seeking to displace the role of the UN in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem but to support a process towards a settlement.
This was stated here yesterday by the director of the Press Department of the Foreign Office, Chris Sainty.
Asked if the G8 will talk about the Cyprus problem at their forthcoming meeting in Cologne, Mr. Sainty said there would be some discussion on Cyprus and a reference in the statement, which will come out of the G8.
What the G8 will be seeking to do is not in any way to displace the UN "as the international organization with the key interest to resolving the issue and reaching a settlement," Mr. Sainty said.
"Clearly, the role of the G8 is a supporting one. I expect it to say in a statement that it supports the efforts of the UN and the Secretary-General in promoting the process towards a settlement," the FO official added.
Invited to comment on statements made by Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit that an intervention by the G8 could lead to an ethnic conflict like in Bosnia, Mr. Sainty said that what the G8 will be seeking to "do is to help towards the efforts of the U N to reach a settlement." This is "supported by all sides," he added.
The G8 Foreign Ministers have agreed on a reference on Cyprus during their recent meeting in Cologne. The reference is subject to approval by the G8 summit this weekend.
The ministers urged their leaders to reiterate their support to UN efforts for a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions.
They called on their leaders to urge the UN Secretary-General to invite the two sides in Cyprus to negotiations without preconditions.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.
Source: Athens News Agency