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Denktash prepares document with amendments to Annan plan
2002-11-27 11:00:34

by Apostolis Zoupaniotis United Nations, Nov 27 (CNA) - Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has prepared a document containing amendments to the introductory note of the UN Secretary General's plan for a Cyprus settlement.

The document has been conveyed to Ankara for comments and will subsequently be handed to the UN. Reliable sources said that in the ''alternative plan'', as Denktash has called his document, the Turkish Cypriot leader is asking for amendments to issues concerning maps and the timeframes on the various stages which lead to the completion of the agreement.|

Invited to comment on the reports, Denktash's advisor, Ergun Olgun, said ''the only thing that I can say is that Mr. Denktash will continue negotiations. He has talked with many people and soon he will present his ideas''.

Asked if this would happen today, Olgun said that although he could not give the exact date, it would be ''very shortly''.

US State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston will visit Denktash tomorrow morning in hospital in an effort to persuade him to accept the plan as a basis for negotiations.

UN officials have avoided to comment on Denktash's statements in an effort to leave room for the UN chief's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto to hold talks in Ankara, which has promised to persuade Denktash.

Last night, de Soto met Turkey's new Minister of Foreign Affairs Yasar Yakis. He visits Ankara today for talks with Deputy Foreign Minister Ougour Ziyal.

Yakis told reporters that Denktash is ready to negotiate the plan and expressed the view that negotiations can start within the next few days but due to the Turkish Cypriot leader's illness an agreement for the common state could not be signed.

Denktash remains at the Presbyterian Clinic in New York and is not expected to be discharged before Christmas. He underwent open-heart surgery on October 7.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

The National Council, comprising parliamentary parties, recommended on November 18 by majority vote that President Glafcos Clerides negotiate the UN proposal with a view to finding a political settlement in Cyprus.

The Turkish Cypriot side has yet to reply to Kofi Annan's request to say whether it accepts the proposal as a basis to negotiate an agreement.

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