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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Annan Speaks to Reporters

Aired February 3, 2004 - 13:43   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Kofi Annan, head of the U.N., addressing reporters right now after meeting with the delegation about sending representatives to Iraq for earlier elections.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

QUESTION: ... the White House reminds us that that committee has not yet been set up.

KOFI ANNAN, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: Oh, I see.

QUESTION: So until it begins to undertake its investigation, could we have your thoughts on that? Are you troubled at all about the state of the intelligence, and that what David Kay found on the ground in Iraq bears very little resemblance to what the White House presented to the United Nations going in?

ANNAN: No. As you know, the U.N. inspectors of UNMOVIC had been working in Iraq for three and a half months. At the point the war was declared, they hadn't found anything.

And now that the government is thinking of setting up an investigation, I think we should wait for...

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: When are you going to invite the leaders of Cyprus for the talks in New York City? And what do you expect specifically from Athens and Nicosia to this effect?

ANNAN: I think in my last report to the Security Council on this issue I made it quite clear that I will be prepared to resume negotiations and offer my good offices if I felt that the parties had the will and the determination to engage each other and sustain the effort until we have a settlement.

Over the past week or so, I've had the chance to talk to the Turkish prime minister, the Greek Cypriot president, the prime minister and foreign minister of Greece. I haven't spoken to Mr. Denktash yet, but everyone seems ready to resume and I hope to be able to invite them to a meeting shortly.

PHILLIPS: U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, after meeting with the president of the United states, talking about getting an team of representatives from the U.N. over to Iraq for early elections.

Also, a brief comment with regard to the government investigation, into intelligence about weapons of mass destruction. Not really wanting to address that.

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