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Papadopoulos in Athens for contacts
2003-02-17 16:41:14

Larnaca, Feb 17 (CNA) ? President elect, Democratic Party leader Tassos Papadopoulos will be in Athens on Monday for talks with the Greek political leadership.

Speaking after a meeting with UN Special Adviser for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto, Papadopoulos said that he had a telephone conversation with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis who invited him to Athens next Monday.

He said that there is no agenda for the talks, noting that he has always had close contact with Simitis.|

Asked to comment on Simitis' statement immediately after his election last night, Papadopoulos said that Simitis' reaction is a response to all those who claimed that the Greek government did not favor his election.

Congratulating Papadopoulos on his election victory, Simitis described him as "a politician who has closely monitored all developments in the Cyprus problem and who has great experience and knowledge of the situation.''

Concerning the reaction among the Turkish Cypriot community to his election, he said that apart from one or two extreme positions the rest of the comments ranged from neutral to positive.

Papadopoulos' visit to Athens was later confirmed by Greek Government Spokesman Tilemachos Hitiris.

Asked whether Papadopoulos' election would mean a postponement of the deadlines for a solution in Cyprus, Hitiris noted the February 28 UN deadline as outlined in the Secretary General's peace plan on a comprehensive settlement, adding that Simitis will be meeting Kofi Annan this afternoon in Brussels.

Papadopoulos was elected the fifth President of the Republic at Sunday's elections with 51.51 per cent of the vote, beating his main rival incumbent President Glafcos Clerides who got 38.80 per cent.

CNA/KN/MM/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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