Nicosia rejects Denktash deal

Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday firmly turned down Wednesday’s surprise proposal by Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for a lifting of the embargo on the island’s occupied northern section in exchange for the return of part of the Greek-Cypriot port of Famagusta. In a letter that was released yesterday, Papadopoulos said Denktash should first accept a reunification plan by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan as the basis for further negotiations. Denktash had rejected that plan earlier this year. «If any repetition of the negotiations is to have any meaning,» the letter said, «I believe that perhaps you could indicate the following: First that you accept the continuation of the provision of the good services of the [UN] secretary-general, as is provided by UN Security Council resolutions, and, secondly, that you accept the secretary-general’s plan as the basis for further negotiation.» In Ankara, a presidential spokesman expressed regret at Nicosia’s response.