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UN chief meets Papadopoulos and Denktash in The Hague
2003-03-10 10:37:03

by Maria Myles -- The Hague, Mar 10 (CNA) - UN Secretary General Kofi Annan held separate meetings today in The Hague with Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

After the meetings, Annan's spokesman Stephan Dujaric announced that the UN chief would be meeting the leaders of the two communities together at the Peace Palace at 1515 local time.

CNA has learned that during this morning's meeting between Annan and Papadopoulos, the latter presented the Greek Cypriot side's positions.

Sources said the UN told the President that the Greek Cypriot side has maintained a positive approach throughout negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem and described this morning's meeting in The Hague as constructive.

Meanwhile, the National Council convened twice today, once before the meeting between the President and Annan, and once afterwards. The National Council is the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus problem.|

The UN chief has invited the two sides in Cyprus to The Hague to tell him whether or not they would sign a commitment to put to the people of the island his plan for a comprehensive settlement at separate simultaneous referenda on March 30.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Annan presented the two sides with a peace plan on 11 November 2002, followed by a revised one a month later. His third plan for a settlement was submitted during his visit to Cyprus in late February, shortly before his February 28 deadline for an agreement expired.


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