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UN issues revised Cyprus peace plan


The United Nations has issued a revised version of its peace plan for Cyprus - and is urging almost immediate agreement on it.
The document was delivered to the island\'s Greek and Turkish leaders on Tuesday, nearly a month after the first draft was unveiled.

The plan calls for the Turkish Cypriots - who hold the north of the island - to give up parts of their territory, while the Greek Cypriots would have had to accept that not all refugees could have returned to their homes.

The revised plan is thought to have been released to try to smooth Cyprus\' entry into the European Union, due to be finalised at this week\'s summit in Copenhagen.

UN envoy Alvaro de Soto presented the new document to Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in separate meetings in Nicosia.

\"I hope the sides will sign the new document today,\" Mr De Soto was quoted as saying by Turkey\'s Anatolia news agency.

A UN statement said the document was revised following \"intensive consultations\" with the two sides participating in the negotiations, which had been stepped up in the past few days.

\"In his letter, the secretary-general asked the two leaders to give the revision the most urgent consideration with a view to reaching a decisive conclusion this week, so that a reunited Cyprus may accede to the European Union,\" the statement said.

Both men are being asked to be ready for possible talks in Copenhagen.

Details secret

\"\'Cyprus has a rendezvous with history,\' the secretary-general said in his letter to the two leaders. It should not be missed,\" the statement added.

No details were released by the UN about the changes made to the peace plan.

But Greek Cypriot officials told Reuters news agency they believed only minor changes had been made.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded after a short-lived Greek-inspired coup.

Turkish Cypriots still run their self-declared republic in the north, but only Turkey recognises its existence.

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