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National Council agrees on letter to Annan
2002-12-03 14:50:09

Nicosia, Dec 3 (CNA) - The National Council (top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus question) concluded its two-day meeting tonight, having discussed the content of the letter President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides will be sending as a reply to a letter received on November 25 from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said the members of the National Council, who on many occasions were in agreement, expressed their views, which the President will take into consideration when writing his letter to Annan.

The reply will be handed to the UN chief's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto within the timeframe already agreed with the Peruvian diplomat.|

On November 25, Annan sent letters to President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, requesting that they notify him about which points of his solution plan, handed to them on November 11, they would like to see changed.

Papapetrou said ''the President of the Republic has carefully heard all the views that have been expressed''.

''The letter will be sent within the timeframe already arranged during a previous meeting with Mr. de Soto'', he added.

Replying to questions, Papapetrou said ''all the parties have expressed views on which issues should be raised'', adding that ''there is a great convergence'' of views.

He added that the National Council, on November 18, had by majority decided to accept Annan's plan for a Cyprus settlement as a basis for negotiations.

Replying to questions regarding the European Council to be held next week in Copenhagen, Papapetrou said ''what should be mainly taken into consideration is the political behaviour of the two sides during the ten-month talks and whether they cooperated and are cooperating towards a solution''.

Cyprus, which opened accession negotiations with the EU in 1998, has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

The National Council is the top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus problem and comprises parliamentary political party representatives. The President's aides are also present at its meetings.


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