Nicosia: Vote can restart talks

NICOSIA – An opposition victory in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus’s upcoming electoral process could end the deadlock in the island’s peace talks and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash’s «nightmare» two-state vision, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said yesterday. «It’s widely accepted that as long as Mr Denktash stays in power, he will remain fixed to his vision, which I would call a nightmare, of two separate entities,» Papadopoulos told reporters. «That means there can be no solution.» Opposition parties in the north that favor acceptance of the UN peace plan rejected by Denktash in March have vowed to oust the veteran politician from his position as chief negotiator for the Turkish-Cypriot community in the December vote. But Denktash has threatened to step down as leader of the Turkish-occupied north if «pro-government» forces are defeated. In Athens yesterday, government spokesman Christos Protopappas complained that Denktash’s policies are «leading the Cyprus issue to an impasse.» (Combined reports)