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Papapetrou says response to Annan positive if Turkey sincere
2002-11-30 15:19:21

Nicosia, Nov 30 (CNA) - Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou told CNA today that the Greek Cypriot side is ready to respond positively to the Turkish Cypriot side's intention to negotiate a Cyprus settlement based on the solution plan put forward by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, if the intention of Turkey's leadership is sincere, as announced yesterday by its National Security Council.

Papapetrou said the Greek Cypriot side would be replying to the UN Chief in writing early next week, after discussing the issue on Monday at the National Council, which is the top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus problem.|

Invited by CNA to comment on the National Security Council's statement, issued right after its four-and-a-half hour meeting yesterday and saying that Turkey supports the latest stance of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash regarding the negotiating process, Papapetrou expressed hope the statement ''means the sincere intention of Turkey to negotiate, based on the plan proposed by the UN Secretary General''.

''If this is the case, then our side, as it has already stated, is ready to respond positively'', Papapetrou said.

He added that ''our side is ready, early next week, to submit its positions to (the UN chief's Special Adviser on Cyprus) Alvaro de Soto, addressed to the UN Secretary General''.

Asked about the content of the Greek Cypriot side's response, Papapetrou said ''the National Council will convene on Monday to conclude this study''.

He added that the response would be handed to the UN ''whenever President Glafcos Clerides is ready'', noting that this would be early next week.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

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