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Cyprus-Greece in touch on security talks, says spokesman
2003-02-12 09:24:55

Nicosia, Feb 12 (CNA) -- Nicosia is in close contact with Athens with regard to talks on security issues Greece and Turkey will begin next week, in the context of the UN-led peace negotiations for a comprehensive settlement, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said here today.

The spokesman also said that there must be give-and-take on specific issues at the negotiating table, before the UN decide to put forward to the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides a new peace plan.

Papapetrou said the government has no official information about a visit to the island by Secretary General Kofi Annan and cannot confirm that such a visit will take place.|

''We are in close contact with the Greek government and there is joint planning, common positions and understanding as to how this matter should be handled,'' Papapetrou said, replying to questions about next week's talks between the two guarantor powers (Greece and Turkey).

The two will talk about the size of their respective contingents to be stationed in Cyprus after a solution, the weapons their troops will carry and the way they will conduct themselves.

Invited to comment on reports that the UN intends to present the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides with a new plan, Papapetrou said that ''if we are going to have another plan before us, then a give-and-take attempt should be made in a concrete manner at the talks prior to a new plan.''

The spokesman explained that if no such attempt is made, then changes to the existing peace plan will be minor because nobody can change anything unilaterally to favour one or the other side.

CNA MK/MM/GP/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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