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Bush Gets Involved in the Cyprus Issue

Lefkose (Nicosia), USA, January 03, 2004 - U.S President, George Bush, in a letter to Greece Prime Minister, Kostas Simitis, requested that he convince the Cypriot Greek side Leader, Tasos Papadopulos, to adopt the solution process proposed by United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.

According to news broadcasted on the NTV television channel, in a letter dated December 26, 3003, Bush encouraged the parties to return to the negotiation table after the general elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) held on December 14, 2003.

Bush requested that Greece follow the process and encourage Papadopulos to do the same. It is stated in the letter that everything is up to both leaders on the Island and that the U.S., as always, will continue to work effectively toward a solution.

In the newscast, it was reported that Simitis, in a letter of response dated January 2, 2004, praised the Cypriot Greek side and stated that time is running out due to the Turkish side\'s unwillingness to cooperate.

Denktas: The Annan Plan is on the table

Meanwhile, TRNC President, Rauf Denktas, has said that the Annan plan is on the table. This is noteworthy as Denktas was heard saying before the December 14 elections that the Plan was not negotiable and that it was a dead document. \"The Annan plan is on the table, but changes had been made. We have not seen these changes yet,\" he said. Denktas has also stated that the changes he referred to in the Annan plan are in line with the changes suggested by Turkey. He informed reporters that the 1960 agreements allowed Turkey to keep permanent troops on the island. And Turkey should continue to have the troops on the island after its accession to the European Union, Denktas defended. He said: \"Since the British base will remain, Turkish soldiers should remain as well.\"

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