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UN delivers revised plan to clinch deal on Cyprus

The United Nations delivered a revised reunification plan to the rival leaders of Cyprus yesterday in a final attempt to secure agreement before the EU summit starts in Copenhagen tomorrow.

But Rauf Denktash, the veteran leader of the Turkish side, said the document contained nothing new. His spokesman said he would be unable to go to Copenhagen, because of health problems.

Under intense pressure from all sides – including Turkey, whose ambitions to join the EU depend on a solution in Cyprus – to accept, his motive is probably to show his hand is being forced. Glafkos Clerides, his Greek counterpart, said he would take his advisory council with him to Copenhagen.

Greek and Turkish Cypriots demonstrated in Nicosia yesterday against the revised plan, which provides for fewer than 70,000 of the 200,000 Greeks expelled from the north in 1974 being allowed to return.

¿ Greece's Defence Minister, Yannos Papantoniou, said yesterday that Turkish jets had harassed a Greek military transport plane travelling from Cyprus to a base near Athens in "a particularly unpleasant incident". Defence officials said a pair of Turkish fighters had flanked the transport plane near the central Aegean Sea island of Naxos before being intercepted by Greek jets.