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Annan to decide next move after he meets Papadopoulos
2003-02-17 16:52:44

By Nicos Bellos -- Brussels, Feb 17 (CNA) ? UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will decide on the next initiatives on Cyprus after his meeting with president elect Tassos Papadopoulos.

The position was expressed here Monday by Annan during a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis in the Belgium capital, on the sidelines of a European Council meeting on Iraq.

The Cyprus problem and the Iraqi crisis were the main issues discussed at the Simitis-Annan meeting.|

Annan said he would not announce any initiative before conferring with Papadopoulos and visiting Athens and Ankara. He explained that a new situation has now ensued following Sunday's presidential elections in Cyprus.

Greek Government Spokesman Christos Protopapas said that this does not mean that Annan will not subsequently submit any proposals to the two sides in Cyprus.

Simitis informed Annan about Athens' and Ankara's wishes to see talks on security and guarantees in the context of the ongoing negotiations completed the soonest.

The Greek side said that the meetings between the General Secretaries of the foreign ministries of Greece and Turkey and military officials would begin in the next days.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.

Democratic Party leader, Tassos Papadopoulos, was elected President of the Republic yesterday from the first round of the elections, securing 51.51 percent of the vote. Outgoing President Glafcos Clerides secured 38.80 percent.

CNA/NB/EC/MM/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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