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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 03-02-27
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 UN chief meets Cyprus leaders
UN chief meets Cyprus leaders
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will have his first joint meeting today with the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides, parties to the UN-sponsored direct talks.
Cyprus President-elect Tassos Papadopoulos, who assumes office officially Friday, and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will have their first face-to-face encounter at the Nicosia Conference Centre in the now defunct international airport, situated in the UN-controlled buffer zone.
 UN chief to have second meeting with Cyprus leaders tomorrow
UN chief to have second meeting with Cyprus leaders tomorrow
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will have a second joint meeting with the leaders of the two sides in Cyprus tomorrow morning.
The announcement was made after today's encounter in the UN-controlled Nicosia buffer zone by Kofi Annan's Special Adviser Alvaro de Soto, who said ''the SG, Mr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Denktash will meet tomorrow morning at 1000 (0800 GMT)''.
 Personal appeal to UN chief by wife of missing Cypriots
Personal appeal to UN chief by wife of missing Cypriots
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- A black-clad Greek Cypriot, wife and mother of two persons missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, has made a personal plea to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to help her find about what has happened to them.
''He has promised to do all he can to help the relatives of all missing persons,'' Panayiota Solomi, from the Turkish-occupied village of Komi Kepir on the island's eastern part, said, after she handed the Secretary General a letter with her emotional appeal.
''I have taken the initiative to ask you if you could help me with my humanitarian problem: my husband and son are missing since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus,'' she says in her letter.
Kofi Annan arrived here Wednesday in a bid to push the UN-led peace process forward and meet, if possible, tomorrow's deadline for an agreed negotiated settlement.
Yesterday he gave the leaders of the two communities a third peace plan to consider and today he had his first joint meeting with them. He is to meet Cyprus president-elect Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash Friday morning.
The Cypriot old woman met the UN chief at the entrance of the Hilton hotel in Nicosia, as the Secretary General was about to go to the UN-controlled buffer zone to meet the Cypriot leaders.
The letter points out that it is a basic human right of the families of missing persons to be informed about the fate of their loved ones and tells him that Turkey has refused to give any satisfactory information.
''I am begging you to raise your voice to the ones responsible in order to force them to provide satisfactory information as to what has happened to them, as demanded by numerous UN General Assembly resolutions,'' she said.
Solomi says that her husband and son were captured, as civilians, by the invading Turkish forces.
''I know who took them. They have to tell me what has happened to them,'' she says in her letter of appeal, noting that ''you represent the hope of the world.''
Solomi's husband and son were led away for questioning by the Turkish armed forces on 5 August 1974, together with another dozen men. A Turkish officer told her they would all be released after being questioned.
Since then, she has not seen either her husband, 42 at the time or her son, 17.
 Papadopoulos: very good, civilised and humane meeting
Papadopoulos: very good, civilized and humane meeting
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- Cyprus President-elect Tassos Papadopoulos has described his first meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, in the presence of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, ''very good, very civilised and very humane.''
''The meeting dealt with procedural matters, we talked about how and when we will meet and this is why today's encounter was rather brief,'' he said, after the 45-minute long meeting, adding that there was no discussion on the substance of the Cyprus problem.
Annan is on the island in a bid to make headway towards a negotiated settlement on the basis of a third proposal he has submitted to the two leaders at their meetings here Wednesday.
Asked after today's meeting if current procedures allow time for negotiations on the third plan, Papadopoulos said ''this is something we talked about today and we have agreed to give the Secretary General our response on the issue tomorrow.''
Referring to Annan's third plan, President Papadopoulos said that ''the plan should be looked at as a whole, we cannot examine single paragraphs or provisions on their own, we have to study it in its entirety.''
He said the Greek Cypriot side is particularly interested in specific aspects of the plan and in others which are of a lesser importance.
Present at today's meeting was outgoing Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Annan's aides on Cyprus, including his special adviser Alvaro de Soto who has been conducting direct talks between the two sides for over a year now.
Later today, Clerides will chair a meeting of the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus problem, to discuss the third plan, which will be given to the political parties.
The third plan will be made public, just as the two previous UN proposals were (the first submitted on November 11 and the second on December 10).
 Kyrenia Coordinating Committee hands letter to Kofi Annan
Kyrenia Coordinating Committee hands letter to Kofi Annan
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- The Coordinating Committee of the Municipalities, Communities and Refugee Associations of the Turkish occupied Kyrenia District handed a letter here today to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, urging him to improve his peace plan on Cyprus, and thus restoring human rights in Cyprus.
The letter was handed to the UN SG this morning at the entrance of UN-controlled Nicosia buffer zone where Annan held a joint meeting with the leaders of both communities in Cyprus aimed at reaching a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus issue.
 Weather forecast for Cyprus
Weather forecast for Cyprus
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- The Meteorological Office at Larnaca International Airport has issued the following weather forecast for Cyprus:
Friday and Saturday: 28/2/2003 to 01/03/2003
Fine weather with local cloud. Winds will be north-easterly to south-easterly light to moderate and the state of sea slight on Friday but moderate on Saturday.
Maximum temperature: 15C inland and around 17C over coastal areas. Minimum temperature: 5C inland and around 8 C over coastal areas.
Outlook for Sunday and Monday: 02/03/2003 to 03/03/2003
Partly cloudy to cloudy with local showers. The temperature is expected to fall by a couple of degrees on Monday.
 Cyprus Stock Exchange
 Weather and Temperatures for Cyprus
 Annan hosts lunch for party leaders
Annan hosts lunch for party leaders
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is hosting today a working lunch for political party leaders from both sides of the divide, following the presentation of his third peace plan for a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus to the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides.
Apart from Kofi Annan sitting at the lunch are his special adviser Alvaro de Soto, UN Under Secretary for political affairs Sir Kieran Prendergast, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary General Zbigniew Wlosowicz, and de Soto's aide Didier Pfirter.
The working lunch, attended by 20 people in total, is taking place at the residence of the Acting Special Representative and the meal was prepared by his mother Elizabeth.
The menu includes beetroot soup with vegetables and dill as a starter, the main dish is pancakes filled with saute spinach and wild mushroom sauce and dessert is apple poached in cranberry sauce.
The meal is accompanied by white French wine and red Australian wine.
Earlier today Annan met with outgoing Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, president-elect Tassos Papadopoulos, who assumes office tomorrow and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.
The Secretary General will meet with all of them tomorrow at ten.
Annan's meetings here take place as tomorrow's deadline for a negotiated agreement on a peace plan he gave the two sides is edging closer.
Eight Greek Cypriots, party leaders or representatives, attended the lunch: AKEL General Secretary Demetris Christofias, Democratic Rally president Nicos Anastasiades, acting president of Democratic Party Nicos Cleanthous, president of the Socialdemocrats Movement Yiannakis Omirou, president of New Horizons party Nicos Koutsou, United Democrats president George Vasiliou, president of the Fighting Democratic Movement Dinos Michaelides and the General Secretary of the Environmentalists Movement George Perdikis.
 Annan hosts lunch for party leaders (1)
Annan hosts lunch for party leaders (1)
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan hosted a working lunch for political party leaders from both sides of the divide today, following the presentation of his third peace plan for a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus to the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides.
 US diplomats attend rally in Turkish-occupied Cyprus
US diplomats attend rally in Turkish-occupied Cyprus
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- US State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Weston, and US Ambassador to Cyprus, Michael Klosson, attended a rally in the Turkish-occupied part of Nicosia here Thursday, observing the right of people to exercise their freedom of assembly and expression.
An embassy spokesman confirmed to CNA Ambassador Weston's and Ambassador Klosson's attendance, adding, ''they were observing the right of the people in a democratic society to express the right to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression''.
 Annan hopes for solution in next couple of days
Annan hopes for solution in next couple of days
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan wondered why there should not be an outcome of the negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem in the immediate future.
Speaking after a working lunch he hosted here today for political party leaders from both sides of the divide, Annan said he would be meeting afresh tomorrow morning with Cyprus President-elect Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. The meeting will be attended by outgoing President Glafcos Clerides.
 Demonstrators call for Denktash's resignation
Demonstrators call for Denktash's resignation
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) - Holding olive leaf wreaths and blue balloons, and waving EU flags, more than 45 thousand Turkish Cypriots gathered in occupied Nicosia, demonstrating in favour of the Annan plan and the accession of a united Cyprus to the European Union.
Demonstrators gathered in Inonu square, in the Turkish occupied part of Nicosia, chanting slogans such as ''Hail brotherhood of peoples'', ''Denktash, resign'' and ''You cannot prevent peace''. There were only a few Turkish flags or ''flags'' of the Denktash regime.
The rally coincided with the visit to Cyprus of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in an effort to make headway towards a negotiated settlement on the basis of a third proposal he has submitted to the two leaders at their meetings here Wednesday.
Shops and business closed while teachers also attended the morning rally.
US State Department's Coordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Weston, accompanied by US Ambassador in Nicosia, Michael Klosson, went to the occupied areas to watch the rally.
Speakers stressed the rally was a message to Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and asked him to listen to the ''people's will'', while everyone talked about the need to hold a referendum. Demonstrators jeered whenever reference was made to Denktash.
They also said that demonstrations would continue until a solution is found, while one speaker said, ''If there is no solution, there will be a social uprising''.
Attending the rally were leader of the United Cyprus party Izzet Izcan, Mehmet Ali Talat of the Republican Turkish Party, Communal Liberation Party leader Hussein Angolemli and the Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce Ali Erel.
Talat said ''today, history is being made'', adding reports that two bombs were allegedly discovered were mere provocative actions aiming to prevent the rally from being held. Erel said no explanation was given about the ''packages: that were found.
 Kyrenia Metropolitan sends letter to Annan
Kyrenia Metropolitan sends letter to Annan
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) - Metropolitan Pavlos of Kyrenia expressed the concern of his congregation that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's plan for a Cyprus settlement is based on injustice instead of the UN Security Council resolutions and the acquis communautaire.
 Talat says Denktash vague about pre-referendum
Talat says Denktash vague about pre-referendum
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) - Leader of the Republican Turkish Party Mehmet Ali Talat said here today Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's statement about holding a pre-referendum in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus in early March was ''vague''.
Answering a question on the possibility of a pre-referendum, prior to the referenda on either side on March 30, the Turkish Cypriot politician said, ''That is a vague argument. I don't know about it. That was voiced by Mr. Denktash as far as I heard but I don't know its validity or its firmness.''
Talat, who was speaking to the press after the luncheon that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan hosted for political party leaders from both sides of the divide, said the plan was handed over to the political leaders. ''We will analyse and we will discuss it. We need some time, of course, but we know the main points of the plan. As you know it was distributed before,'' he added.
 National Council convenes to discuss Annan plan
National Council convenes to discuss Annan plan
 Vassiliou says UN SG seeks commitment for referendum
Vassiliou says UN SG seeks commitment for referendum
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- United Democrats leader and former President of the Republic, George Vassiliou, said here today he was impressed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annans decision not to ask for a commitment by the two sides on his new revised plan for a solution to the Cyprus problem but to ask for a commitment for a referendum.
Speaking to reporters before a National Council meeting, Vassiliou said what I would like to stress is that what Mr. Annan is seeking is a commitment from the two sides to put the plan to a referendum.
He said ''this was different from what they said in the past, about Annan seeking a commitment on the plan before moving forward.
 National Council to study Annan plan and convene next week
National Council to study Annan plan and convene next week
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- The National Council met this afternoon and exchanged views on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem. It will convene anew next week, when its members have studied a revised peace plan presented to the parties involved in the Cyprus problem by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan himself.
After the meeting, which was held under outgoing Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou read out a statement which said that the members of the National Council ''exchanged views on the latest developments''.
''The members, having studied the revised plan in detail, will convene anew next week'', the statement read.
It added that ''President Clerides bid farewell to the members of the National Council'', as he will no longer be chairing it, and thanked them for their cooperation.
 Schwimmer says Cypriots must not miss date with history
Schwimmer says Cypriots must not miss date with history
by Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Feb 27 (CNA) -- Council of Europe Secretary General Walter Schwimmer said today ''Cypriots must not miss their date with history'' and appeared confident that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, during his current visit to Cyprus, would achieve a breakthrough towards the acceptance of his peace plan by the two sides.
 Clerides to attend tomorrow's UN-sponsored joint meeting
Clerides to attend tomorrow's UN-sponsored joint meeting
 New cabinet to be announced March 1
New cabinet to be announced March 1
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- The names of those who will comprise Cyprus' new Council of Ministers will be announced on Saturday, 1 March, 2003, following a ceremony Friday afternoon at the House of Representatives for the investiture of new President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos.
The new President's spokesman, Marios Karoyan, told reporters today that after Papadopoulos is invested, he would meet with House President Demetris Christofias and receive the congratulations of the House members.
Papadopoulos will then meet at the Presidential Palace with outgoing President Glafcos Clerides.
Karoyan said that after the new 11-member cabinet was announced on Saturday, the Ministers would be sworn in and would convene for a ceremonial meeting.
Later on, a reception will be held for the diplomatic corps and state officials.
On Sunday afternoon, the Presidential Palace will be open for the public to congratulate Papadopoulos.
 Annan: Where there is will, a lot can be done
Annan: Where there is will, a lot can be done
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- UN Secretary-General applauded Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot artists for their bicommunal exhibition, at the Hilton Hotel where the UN Chief is staying.
Annan told CNA about his impressions of the exhibition that it was a ''great idea, its wonderful, and the fact that they did it in four days, gives us the message that where there is will, a lot can be done. And the same goes for peace.
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