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National Council to convene on Wednesday, says Spokesman
2003-02-24 19:55:15

Nicosia, Feb 24 (CNA) - The National Council will convene on Wednesday because of developments on the Cyprus problem, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said here today.

Commenting on the optimism expressed in Ankara by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that the Cyprus problem can be solved by the end of the month, Papapetrou said he did not doubt ''the international community is hoping for a change in the Turkish stance at the last moment''.

He said outgoing President Glafcos Clerides ''is present at developments on Cyprus'', without clarifying whether Clerides will attend the meeting between UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and newly-elected President Tassos Papadopoulos later this week.

Papapetrou said Clerides and Britain's Special Representative for Cyprus Lord David Hannay examined the latest developments on Cyprus during their working breakfast this morning.|

Invited to specify if the latest developments include the UN memorandum presented to Papadopoulos, the Spokesman replied ''the latest developments include everything that the UN Secretary-General has said in Ankara yesterday, that he looks forward and believes there are preconditions for a solution to the Cyprus problem in the next few days''.

Asked if he shares Annan's view, the Government Spokesman said ''if there is the political will, I believe it is possible'', adding that ''it might not be by Friday, but very soon, if the Turkish side expresses a political will''.

To a question whether there are any such indications, Papapetrou recommended patience, in view of the UN chief's arrival on the island. Annan will visit the island from February 26 to 28.

''This is the moment of Cyprus. Cyprus is going through the most critical moments of its history, at least in the past 30 years, and I think it is necessary now, more than ever, that everyone realises their responsibilities and works together for this place and for future generations'', Papapetrou added.

He said Clerides convened the National Council following an understanding with Papadopoulos. ''The Council will meet because conditions and developments make it necessary to convene'', he added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of its territory.

The National Council is the top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus problem and comprises parliamentary party leaders.

CNA/GSA/EC/RG/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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