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Papadopoulos in Athens to meet Simitis
2003-03-06 14:13:12

by Rebekah Gregoriades -- Athens, Mar 6 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, who arrived in Athens last night, will hold talks at noon here today with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis.|

President Papadopoulos begins his Athens meetings with a delegation of the Federation of Cypriot Organisations in Greece.

At noon, he will hold talks with Simitis to be followed by statements to the press and a working lunch hosted by the Greek Prime Minister in honour of President Papadopoulos.

This afternoon, Papadopoulos will receive opposition New Democracy President Constantinos Karamanlis.

President Papadopoulos returns home tonight.

This morning, Cyprus Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides will be meeting with his Greek counterpart Christos Protopapas.

The trip to Athens comes at a time of intense deliberations and rapid developments regarding the Cyprus problem. On Monday, Papadopoulos is due to meet at The Hague with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who invited him and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash there in order to tell him whether or not they would sign a commitment to submit the Foundation Agreement to approval at separate referenda on March 30, in order to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

Annan submitted his original plan to solve the Cyprus problem on 11 November 2002 and a revised one followed on 10 December 2002. Annan made a three-day trip to the island towards the end of February 2003, just hours before his February 28 deadline for an agreement between the two sides expired.

The UN are trying to bring the two sides to agreeing on his third peace plan before mid-April, so that a reunited Cyprus can sign the Accession Treaty with the EU on April 16.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


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