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President-elect received UN memorandum
2003-02-24 01:15:51

Larnaca, Feb 23, (CNA) -- President-elect Tassos Papadopoulos said here today that he received a memorandum, which includes the context of discussions between him and the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto.

Speaking on his departure for Athens where he will meet with Greek Premier Costas Simitis and other Greek political officials, Papadopoulos pointed out that this memorandum ''is not a third plan,'' adding that ''it is a summary of all the discussions we had these past days''.

''I have received a memorandum which summarises the talks we had the past four - five days with De Soto'', Papadopoulos said replying to questions.

''I travel to Athens at the invitation of the Greek Prime Minister for a working visit'' Papadopoulos said, adding that tomorrow he will have a long meeting with Costas Simitis ''to examine both the present phase as well as the possible future developmens'' on the Cyprus question.

Papadopoulos said that during his meetings in Athens he will convey the gratitude of the Cyprus people towards the Greek government and parties as well as the Greek people.

Invited to justify the submission of the memorandum at this particular moment, Papadopoulos said that this memorandum was handed because UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who will visit the island on Wednesday ''would want to be briefed on our views''.

Replying to question whether there is a possibility a new plan to be submitted in Athens, Papadopoulos noted that such a possibility ''I think would be unwise'' adding that he does not know if such a possibility exists. ''Only the Secretary General knows'', he said.|

Asked if he shares a statement made by House President Demetris Christofias who called on the UN not to submit a new plan at this period, Papadopoulos said he shares this position, which was expressed by outgoing President Glafcos Clerides.

''A hasty submission of a plan with the essence of take or leave it may damage the possibilities this new plan to constitute the basis for further negotiations'', he added.

Replying to a question if there is a change in the Turkish stance on the Cyprus question, Papadopoulos said that he hopes when he arrives in Athens that he would be briefed on the talks regarding the security issue between the Turkish and the Greek delegation.

Asked whether he consider the security issue important, Papadopoulos said that ''i think that the issue of security is important for the total of the Cypriot people.''

''One of the basic aims of a solution is to secure safety and the feeling of security of all the inhabitants of Cyprus,'' he added.

Asked if the issues included in the memorandum will be discussed, Papadopoulos noted that as far as the Greek Cypriot side is concerned, the negotiations are continuing on Annan's second plan.

Invited to say if a solution of the Cyprus question could be reached from Annan's visit on the island, Papadopoulos said ''if a solution has not been reached yet, this is due to the Turkish stance and to the Turkish Cypriot Leader Rauf Denktash's intransigence''.

''Therefore, in order for us to hope on a rapid solution, we must anticipate a clarification of the Turkish positions and the change of Denktash's intransigence'', Papadopoulos underlined.

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


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