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Hannay says Papadopoulos' statements are positive
2003-02-18 17:27:13

Nicosia, Feb 18 (CNA) ? British envoy for Cyprus, Lord David Hannay said statements made by President-elect, Tassos Papadopoulos that he will negotiate on the basis of the UN plan are positive.

In an interview yesterday with BBC TV World Service, Lord Hannay said that from what he gathers, "he (Papadopoulos) intends to work extremely close with President (Glafcos) Clerides in the next two weeks", adding "let's see where we can get to".

When asked if there is still time to come to some sort of agreement, the British envoy said, "I think it can be done, yes".

He explained that these negotiations have been going on for more than three years now and that "the ground has thus been very, well prepared but of course there are still gaps and that's why Kofi Annan is going to come to the island".

Regarding Annan's visit, Lord Hannay said that "probably, at some stage in this process, he is going to revise his earlier proposals, not fundamentally but he is going to make changes which will, no doubt, reflect some of the points that have been made to him by both sides".|

He said surely there can be changes, "otherwise the UN wouldn't be even contemplating revising its proposals. But to think, to suggest that you can tear the whole plan up and start from scratch that would be complete nonsense. But nobody is asking that", the British envoy said, adding that Papadopoulos is not saying that. "He is saying he will negotiate within the framework of the UN proposals", he noted

Regarding Papadopoulos, Lord Hannay said "that the view of him from the north?from Mr. Denktash is not a positive one". However, the "fact is that the main party that supported the Papadopoulos campaign, apart from the Democratic Party, was AKEL, which has "traditionally been the party in Cyprus that most wants a solution".

"So, I don't think one should read too much in to the past. Let's look to the present and the future, what President-elect Papadopoulos said about negotiating on the basis of the UN plan was rather positive", he added.

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

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

UN-led efforts to solve the Cyprus problem will culminate with the arrival on 26 February of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in a last ditch effort to find a comprehensive settlement based on Annan's revised plan.


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