NEWS

Poll shows most Greek Cypriots want a revision of the new UN peace plan

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Most Greek Cypriots reject a UN peace plan for Cyprus and would only back it if key clauses were changed, an opinion poll said yesterday. Fifty-two percent of respondents in the poll carried out by Amer-Nielsen for the Politis newspaper said they opposed the blueprint as tabled by UN officials on November 11, 28 percent said they approved of it and 20 percent said they did not know or would not give an answer. The UN plan proposes reunification of Cyprus under broad power-sharing between majority Greek Cypriots and minority Turkish Cypriots. Diplomats want the proposal ratified before an EU summit on December 12, which is expected to conclude membership talks with the island, and avert the prospect of a divided island joining the bloc. Cyprus, divided since a Turkish invasion in 1974 prompted by a brief Greek-inspired coup, would be reunified under a common government with two equal partners, called «component states.» It would be ruled by a six-member executive presidential council with the presidency rotating every 10 months. The United Nations has asked the two sides to respond on whether the plan could be a basis for negotiations by today but the deadline is likely to be extended owing to the poor health of Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. The poll said the primary concern of respondents was security while 72 percent of respondents warned of a violent reaction from Greek Cypriots who might lose out in territory and population tradeoffs proposed in the plan. The poll covered 404 respondents from Nov. 14 to 15.