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Annan hosts lunch for party leaders
2003-02-27 17:50:00

Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan hosted a working lunch for political party leaders from both sides of the divide today, following the presentation of his third peace plan for a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus to the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides.

After the lunch, the political leaders stood for a photograph with the UN chief. They left holding envelopes, probably containing copies of the third solution plan Annan has prepared.|

Annan presented the two sides with a settlement plan on 11 November 2003 and a revised one on 10 December 2002.

The working lunch, attended by 20 people in total, took place at the residence of the UN chief's Acting Special Representative Zbigniew Wlosowicz.

Eight Greek Cypriots, party leaders or representatives, attended the lunch: AKEL General Secretary Demetris Christofias, Democratic Rally president Nicos Anastasiades, acting president of Democratic Party Nicos Cleanthous, president of the Socialdemocrats Movement Yiannakis Omirou, president of New Horizons party Nicos Koutsou, United Democrats president George Vasiliou, president of the Fighting Democratic Movement Dinos Michaelides and the General Secretary of the Environmentalists Movement George Perdikis.

From the Turkish Cypriot side were Dervis Eroglu, of the National Unity party, Huseyin Agolemli of the Communal Liberation party, Attay Ahmet Rasit and Serdar Denktash of the Democratic Party, Mehmet Ali Talat of the Republican Turkish Party and Hassan Hasipoglu of the Progress Party.|

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan wondered why there should not be an outcome of the negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem in the immediate future.

Speaking after the working lunch he hosted here today for political party leaders from both sides of the divide, Annan said he would be meeting afresh tomorrow morning with Cyprus President-elect Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. The meeting will be attended by outgoing President Glafcos Clerides.

Invited by a journalist to say whether he was hopeful or not that the negotiations could be wrapped up in the next couple of days, Annan said, ''I see you are too young to be pessimistic. Why not?''|


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