NEWS

UN ‘not ready’ for Cyprus

As the number of Cypriots crossing the Green Line continued to grow, reaching 272,000 yesterday since Turkish Cypriots eased travel restrictions on April 23, officials on both sides warned that this was not enough to prompt a new UN-mediated effort toward a comprehensive solution. «The UN secretary-general is not ready,» Cypriot Foreign Minister George Iacovou told state radio yesterday. «What he wants first is for Turkey to change its stance and (Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf) Denktash to do the same.» Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to visit the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus on Friday and Denktash has sent him a letter asking him not to announce any measures affecting the island, the Turkish daily Cumhurriyet reported yesterday. Denktash’s son, Serdar, said the easing of restrictions was aimed at building confidence «so that negotiations can resume – but until then, the UN, the EU and USA should be observers.» Tahsin Ertugruloglu, a Denktash aide, insisted that the easing of restrictions underlined the existence of «two states» on Cyprus – which only Turkey agrees with.