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Council to meet Nov 18 to give final position on Annan document
2002-11-12 15:49:24

Nicosia, Nov 12 (CNA) -- The National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus problem, will meet again on Monday, 18 November, to have an in-depth discussion on the proposal submitted yesterday by the UN Secretary-General for a Cyprus settlement.

Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou announced after a two-hour meeting of the body chaired by President Glafcos Clerides, that the Council members received copies of the Annan proposal as well as an analysis which Attorney-General Alecos Markides made after instructions by President Clerides.

No statements were made by the political party leaders, while President Clerides told reporters that the National Council meets behind closed doors and he would not disclose what was said.

Markides said he had been instructed to analyse key points of the Annan document. The Attorney-General said he gave Council members a realistic view of the plan.

Papapetrou told the press that the political parties will study these documents and the National Council will convene next Monday to begin a detailed discussion after the return of President Clerides from Athens.

President Clerides will have talks in Athens with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and other Greek leaders on the peace plan submitted to the parties involved in the Cyprus problem by the UN chief on Tuesday.

Asked whether the discussion within the National Council will deal with the reply, which the President will give to Kofi Annan or how the Greek Cypriot side will negotiate, Papapetrou replied it would cover "everything. The National Council will deal with the proposal in its entirety, its substance and course of action", he said.

"The reply of the Greek Cypriot side will be given to the UN Secretary- General after the National Council meeting, and when decisions will be taken", the Spokesman added.

Although some sketchy positions were made and some questions were asked there was nothing to announce because everything depends on next Monday's Council meeting, Papapetrou explained.

Regarding the document submitted by Markides, Papapetrou explained, "it is an 18-page summary of the 144-page document of the Secretary-General".

Markides said "the President's instructions were for me to analyse the main points of the SC's plan without giving any positions, in a cold and logical manner, so that Council members can be informed in short on what it was about".

He said Council members got "a first overall picture" which would help with their scrutiny of the document.

Markides said he would prepare additional notes on the Annan document, which "contains some provisions which are incomprehensible and require analysis and perhaps clarifications from the UN team which has prepared the document".

The Attorney-General said the UN officials told President Clerides yesterday they are willing to provide any clarifications required and interpret what they have drafted.

Markides revealed the UN Secretary-General asked President Clerides through his Special Advisor, Alvaro de Soto, "not to make public his positions, either positive or negative, on points included in the plan, before our side reaches a final conclusion and after it studies the plan as a whole and discusses it with the Secretary-General".

The President, Markides said, accepted Annan's appeal.|

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