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Clerides will sign solution if it serves public interest, says spokesman
2002-12-10 09:39:17

Nicosia, Dec 10 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides will only sign a solution of the Cyprus question if he is convinced this will be in the interest of the people of Cyprus, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said here today.

Speaking to the press after the President took delivery of a revised UN proposal on a comprehensive settlement, he said there has been an initial assessment of the proposal and a note on the proposed amendments will be prepared for the members of the National Council, which convenes in early evening at an extraordinary meeting, to discuss developments.

The President is due to have a second meeting today with UN Secretary General's special adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto, who handed him earlier today the revised version of the UN plan, submitted November 11, 2002.|

''De Soto delivered today a revised document, which has already been assessed initially. The President will see de Soto in early afternoon as well,'' the spokesman said.

Replying to questions, he said the revised version is about the same length as the first draft (about 138 pages), but refrained from any further comment on the content of the text.

He did note however that the new document is not an ultimatum and is not on a ''take it or leave it'' basis.

''If the possibility exists for the two leaders to sign an agreement by the Copenhagen European Union meeting (12-13 December), I would repeat that we have never hidden our readiness to do so,'' Papapetrou said.

If however, there is no agreement, the effort to find a negotiated settlement will continue, he added.

Replying to other questions, he said the President will certainly not sign anything under pressure.

''The President will sign an agreement only once he is convinced that by doing so he will be serving the interests of the people of Cyprus,'' he said.

Asked if the revised plan brings the two sides closer together, he said the President and the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus question, will be the judge of that.

Asked if National Council members will accompany the President to Copenhagen, he said the leaders of the four bigger parties (AKEL, DISY, DIKO and KISOS) have accepted an invitation from the President to be in Copenhagen with him.

The replies of the remaining four smaller parliamentary parties will be given at this evening's Council meeting.

''We are going to Copenhagen to see Cyprus join the EU. But we are also going there to deal with every development and every possibility that may be offered to us,'' the spokesman said.

Replying to questions, he said a note outlining the points that have been changed in the revised UN document will be delivered to the members of the Council later today.

He also said it is logical to assume that there is one map included in the revised text.

CNA MM/MK/2002
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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