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Lord Hannay holds meetings in Nicosia
2002-10-25 11:44:23

Nicosia, Oct 25 (CNA) - Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Kasoulides said the meetings of Britain's Special Representative for Cyprus Lord David Hannay with President Glafcos Clerides and himself were taking place at the ''right time'' since negotiations are underway to gather information which will allow the UN Secretary General to decide whether he will submit a plan for a an overall Cyprus settlement.

House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias, who also met with Lord Hannay, said the British envoy had assured him there was no intention for a ''take it or leave it'' plan to be presented to the Greek Cypriot side.|

Speaking after meeting Lord Hannay, Kasoulides said the British diplomat listened to the Greek Cypriot side's positions, in view of the possible presentation of a draft solution for the Cyprus problem.

Kasoulides pointed out that because of this possibility, Lord Hannay ''should know exactly our views on a number of issues''.

Noting that Britain always supported the view that a plan should be submitted, Kasoulides said Lord Hannay has stated the UN Secretary General will decide what to do after the elections in Turkey early next month and bearing in mind Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's condition of health.

Denktash is recuperating in a New York hospital following open-heart surgery on October 7 and a follow up operation this week.

The Foreign Minister said Cyprus' actions are identical to those of Athens and that these were conveyed to the UN chief's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto.

Christofias said he was assured by Lord Hannay that there is no intention to present a ''take it or leave it'' plan for a Cyprus settlement.

''We have reached the conclusion that a precondition for someone to hope we could have a settlement before Copenhagen, would be the substantial reconsideration of the Turkish side's positions on key issues'', Christofias added.

However, he said that from the meeting with Lord Hannay, it was clear that the Turkish positions have not changed.

''We both concluded that we should anticipate what the Secretary-General will do and from what it looks like the intentions are to present a plan'', he said.

Christofias expressed the Greek Cypriot side's readiness for a Cyprus settlement, which will be based on the relevant UN resolutions, high level agreements and a compromise with our Turkish Cypriot compatriots within a bizonal, bicommunal federation''.

He also told the British diplomat that a plan should secure the ''broader autonomy of the two states that will make up the federation'' as well as its sovereignty, territorial integrity and single citizenship.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. The international community is trying in earnest to reach a compromise on the Cyprus problem before the European Council in Copenhagen. Cyprus is among the 10 countries, which the European Commission has said could finalise accession negotiations by the end of the year.

According to the Helsinki European Council conclusions, finding a solution to the Cyprus problem is not a precondition for entry.

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