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26 January, 2001
Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Thursday discussed the Cyprus issue with visiting UN Cyprus envoy Alvaro de Sotto, thanking him and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for efforts to promote talks on Cyprus and reiterating the Greek government's support for these efforts, while reminding that they emanate from UN Security Council resolution 1250 on finding a just solution to the Cyprus issue.
de Sotto made a stopover in Athens as part of a tour of the region to seek ways of continuing Annan's efforts for a just and overall solution in Cyprus.
Papandreou referred to the intention of Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides to participate in the continuation of efforts and reiterated that it is important that this opportunity for peace and cooperation in the wider region should not be lost.
Papandreou and de Sotto also discussed the issue of Greek Cypriot Panikos Tsiakourmas, illegally detained by the Turkish Cypriots, and the situation in Strovilia and Pyla where, as he said, the UN has an important role to play.
de Sotto said Greece has an important role to play in the secretary general's efforts, adding that Papandreou was right in referring to resolution 1250 taken in June 1999 and saying that it sets out four main criteria for a settlement to the Cyprus problem.
He said the criteria are that all issues should be on the table, there should be no preliminary preconditions, both sides should be committed to continuing efforts in good faith until an overall and satisfactory solution is found and full consideration should be given to all relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
de Sotto left open the issue of whether the process followed by the UN secretary general will change, reminding that the secretary general's mandate for providing good offices has a wide content which allows many different methods to be pursued.
Source: Athens News Agency