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Papadopoulos: very good, civilized and humane meeting
2003-02-27 17:54:00

Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- Cyprus President-elect Tassos Papadopoulos has described his first meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, in the presence of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, ''very good, very civilised and very humane.''

''The meeting dealt with procedural matters, we talked about how and when we will meet and this is why today's encounter was rather brief,'' he said, after the 45-minute long meeting, adding that there was no discussion on the substance of the Cyprus problem.

Annan is on the island in a bid to make headway towards a negotiated settlement on the basis of a third proposal he has submitted to the two leaders at their meetings here Wednesday.

Asked after today's meeting if current procedures allow time for negotiations on the third plan, Papadopoulos said ''this is something we talked about today and we have agreed to give the Secretary General our response on the issue tomorrow.''

Referring to Annan's third plan, President Papadopoulos said that ''the plan should be looked at as a whole, we cannot examine single paragraphs or provisions on their own, we have to study it in its entirety.''

He said the Greek Cypriot side is particularly interested in specific aspects of the plan and in others which are of a lesser importance.

Present at today's meeting was outgoing Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Annan's aides on Cyprus, including his special adviser Alvaro de Soto who has been conducting direct talks between the two sides for over a year now.

Later today, Clerides will chair a meeting of the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus problem, to discuss the third plan, which will be given to the political parties.

The third plan will be made public, just as the two previous UN proposals were (the first submitted on November 11 and the second on December 10).

Papadopoulos will assume office officially tomorrow from Clerides, at a special session of the House of Representatives. He will announce his cabinet on Saturday.|



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