UN envoy gets Cypriots talking

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s envoy for Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, arrived on the island yesterday and immediately scheduled a meeting between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash tomorrow. At a news conference in Nicosia before meeting separately with the two, de Soto urged them to ask themselves whether their communities would be able «to reunite as equals in the European Union or will the division of the island be further entrenched.» A major demonstration by Turkish Cypriots demanding acceptance of the UN deal by the Feb. 28 deadline is to be held in the occupied part of Nicosia today. Denktash says Annan’s plan has unacceptable elements. «We are now on a pretty tight timeframe,» de Soto said «The choice is between this plan, perhaps with balanced refinements here and there as needed, and no plan at all.»

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