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Papadopoulos: Many consultations required on new plan
2003-02-27 17:57:47

Nicosia, Feb 26 (CNA) - President-elect Tassos Papadopoulos said that many consultations will have to take place to reach the best possible result, regarding the UN Secretary-General's revised plan for a Cyprus settlement, presented by Kofi Annan to the two sides earlier today.

Speaking to reporters before leaving for his residence for what he said would be ''a long night'', because he will be studying the new revised plan, and asked what his first impressions on the plan were, Papadopoulos avoided replying, only to say that ''many negotiations will be required to achieve the best possible'' result.|

Invited to elaborate, Papadopoulos said the number of meetings necessary was insignificant, stressing a solution did not depend only on the Greek Cypriot side. ''It also depends on the other side, and at this moment we do not know its position'', he said.

Papadopoulos remarked there were ''changes (in the plan) which are substantial'', adding that ''the plan cannot not be judged from one or two changes, but should be seen in its entirety''.

He added that the plan would be placed before the people on both sides in referenda, noting the Turkish Cypriots will hold a pre-referendum, as Denktash announced, and the 30 March referenda will follow.

Asked when he should reply to Annan, he said, ''I will reply when I am ready''.

Invited to say whether the new plan was worse than the second one, Papadopoulos said, ''I believe the UN are trying to find a balanced, middle course''.

Asked if outgoing President Glafcos Clerides would be accompanying him tomorrow in a meeting with Denktash and Annan, Papadopoulos said, ''I asked him and Mr. Clerides will accompany me, and will help me. He has said from the start he will try to help as much as he can, and I am grateful for his response''.

Annan will continue his consultations tomorrow with a meeting with Papadopoulos and Denktash, and will attend a lunch with political party leaders from both sides of the divide.

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


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