NEWS

Turk FM cools on UN plan

In an apparent move to mollify Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, Turkish Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis, who is visiting the occupied part of Cyprus, expressed full support for Denktash yesterday. And a senior Turkish general said acceptance of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s peace plan would pose a security risk for Turkey and would not be accepted. «The government strongly supports Denktash’s appropriate stance in the negotiations,» the Anatolia news agency quoted Yakis as saying after meeting with Denktash. «The Turkish side will do its utmost for the talks to end in a deal. If they do not, then one should find fault not with our side, but with the other side,» he added. Yakis spoke of «realities» that had to be respected, such as «the existence of two states with different sovereignty.» This is Denktash’s basic stand, which Greek Cypriots do not accept. Previously, government and ruling party officials expressed impatience with Denktash for his apparent unwillingness to reach a deal with President Glafcos Clerides before the Feb. 28 deadline. Cypriot observers believed the change may be because the Turkish government does not want a clash with the military establishment. Turkey’s National Security Council will discuss Iraq and Cyprus on Thursday. Turkish army chief Gen. Aytac Yalman, also on Cyprus, said Annan’s plan «could lead to a return to the 1963 conflict environment on the island and remove the atmosphere of security… by disrupting the regional balance against Turkey.»