Security Council pushes UN plan

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The Security Council blamed Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for the failure to reach agreement on reunification of Cyprus and called yesterday for Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plan to remain the basis for a settlement. Annan’s plan aimed at getting a united Cyprus to join the EU next year collapsed last month when Denktash rejected the proposal. A resolution adopted unanimously by the Security Council expressed regret that «due to the negative approach of the Turkish-Cypriot leader… it was not possible to reach agreement to put the plan to simultaneous referenda as suggested by the secretary-general.» The council gave «its full support to the secretary-general’s carefully balanced plan… as a unique basis for further negotiations.» It called on «all concerned» to use the plan «to reach a comprehensive settlement.» The council also expressed «strong interest in achieving an overall political settlement» that takes into consideration all relevant council resolutions and treaties. [In Athens yesterday, Cyprus government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides hailed Annan’s recent report which, he said, «for the first time… clearly blames the intransigent position of the Turkish side, in many paragraphs.»] Last week, the council was divided on using Annan’s plan as a basis for future negotiations. Council diplomats said the US and Britain supported the draft resolution calling for a settlement based on Annan’s plan, but Russia and China didn’t want the resolution to mention any plan because Annan’s proposal was rejected. In negotiations over the weekend, diplomats said Russia and China dropped their opposition. Russia’s Deputy Ambassador Gennady Gatilov said Annan’s plan was «balanced» and called for negotiations to use its parameters «as a basis for dialogue.»