NEWS

Cypriot leader ready for talks

Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, who will address the UN General Assembly today and meet with Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said yesterday that he was willing to resume talks aimed at reuniting Cyprus on the basis of Annan’s proposal. But he repeated a call for changes to the plan. He has argued before that the island’s accession to the EU next May will have changed the situation on Cyprus. «These points (of proposed changes) are within the parameters of the Annan plan and are aimed at making it more functional and more viable. It does not necessarily mean that with these changes we aim to deprive the Turkish Cypriots of rights,» Papadopoulos told reporters yesterday. Before meeting with Thomas Weston, the US State Department’s Cyprus envoy, Papadopoulos said he disagreed with the proposal of US officials to send observers to the Turkish-Cypriot elections on Dec. 14. «The adulteration of the elections has already been concluded with the registration of thousands of settlers on electoral lists. The vote is illegal, it is a separatist act,» the Cypriot president said.