Albright sees hope for Cyprus talks

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The Independent Online
Larnaca, Cyprus (Reuters) -- The Greek Cypriot President, Glafcos Clerides, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, plan to meet soon to discuss security issues linked to the dispute dividing the island, the United States Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, said yesterday.

"This is a substantial step. The environment of tension, threat, and counter-threat has been going on in Cyprus for far too long," Mrs Albright said during a brief stopover in Cyprus after completing a Middle East tour.

She said that Mr Clerides and Mr Denktash expressed their willingness to meet Tom Miller, the new US State Department co-ordinator for Cyprus who had contacts with the two leaders yesterday. No date for the talks was specified.

Mrs Albright spent about 30 minutes in Cyprus after a visit to Lebanon. She then boarded a jet to return to Washington. She did not meet any Cypriot officials.