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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 January, 2004, 00:03 GMT
Turkey seeks UN plan for Cyprus

By Quentin Sommerville
BBC correspondent in Davos

Turkey has asked for the United Nations to make fresh efforts on a peace plan for the divided Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has called on the UN to appoint a new high-level mediator from a neutral country to help revive the talks.

It follows his earlier meeting with the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

Mr Erdogan said he wanted Mr Annan to fill in the blanks in the peace plan to reunite Cyprus.

The UN secretary general drafted the lasted Cyprus peace plan in 2002, but talks ground to a halt last March.

The Turkish prime minister said Turkey was happy to take its place back at the negotiating table.

There are about 30,000 Turkish troops in the north of Cyprus.

The first signs of a breakthrough in the deadlocked talks came before this weekend's meeting when the Turkish military said it was prepared to accept the last UN plan as a basis for negotiations.

Remaining to be resolved are differences over the return of 180,000 Greek Cypriot refugees to the north of the island.

There is also division over how many Greek and Turkish troops will remain after Cyprus has been reunited.

Cyprus is joining the European Union on 1 May this year, but membership will in effect apply only in the south if reunification has not happened.

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