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UN solution plan to be handed probably Monday, says Minister
2002-11-09 13:29:21

Nicosia, Nov 9 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides believes that it is highly likely that a UN proposal on a solution to the Cyprus question will be handed to the government on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference, the minister said the government has not seen any drafts of the proposed plan but has taken precautionary action to avert any unwanted elements in the text.

Kasoulides explained that the President's stated preference to have such a plan put forward once the election campaign is over has nothing to do with domestic politics but it stresses the President's innermost thought that his primary concern is to find ways to protect in the best possible manner the national interests of the people of Cyprus.

The minister said that now President Glacos Clerides will need more support from the island's political leadership.|

''The President has often explained to foreign envoys and to the UN Secretary General that because his term in office is drawing to a close (February next year) he is obliged to be more intense in his positions during negotiations on any proposed plan,'' Kasoulides said.

The President is certainly willing to discuss any plan, he said but stressed that foreign mediators on Cyprus need to understand that whereas they made an effort not to disturb the domestic front in Turkey during its election campaign, they are not applying the same policy in Cyprus.

Presidential elections are due in February next year in Cyprus and already three political leaders are contesting the elections. Turkey had general elections in early November.

Asked if he could confirm that the UN plan will be handed over on Monday, he replied ''no, I cannot confirm anything of the sort, but all indications are that it is very likely that we shall have the plan on Monday.''

''We have not seen any drafts. Now we are going to see the result of our efforts to eliminate from such a plan elements which we cannot accept,'' the minister said.

There is increasing speculation that UN Secretary General's special envoy for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto will see the President on Monday and communicate to him the proposed ideas on a Cyprus settlement.

De Soto has been conducting direct talks between the President and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Dentkash. The talks are effectively on hold because of Denktash's ill health. He has been in New York for the past five weeks or so and is recovering from open heart surgery.

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