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20 November, 2002
Prime Minister Costas Simitis began Tuesday's cabinet meeting by briefing his government on the results of his talks with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides about the UN plan for Cyprus and his meeting with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whos Justice and Development Party (AKP) emerged victorious in recent elections in Turkey, government spokesman Christos Protopapas announced.
According to sources, the prime minister said Erdogan showed good will and a positive attitude but did not appear fully aware of the urgency of the deadlines suggested by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan so that a resolution to the Cyprus problem might achieved before the island republic joined the EU. Similarly, Simitis said, Erdogan seemed not to appreciate the difficulties the EU had in setting a date for the start of accession negotiations with Turkey.
On his talks with Clerides, the prime minister said the Cypriot side saw the Annan plan as a good basis for negotiations and intended to place most emphasis on the provisions for settlers and the workings of the state.
In response to a query by Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos regarding the Aegean continental shelf issue, Simitis said that nothing had changed after his talks with Erdogan. He said that Greece and Turkey were now looking into the possibility of signing an agreement to bring the matter to the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
Source: Athens News Agency