NEWS

Cyprus awaits its time

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is watching developments on Cyprus and is ready to resume efforts to reunify the island when conditions are ripe, Greece’s foreign minister, George Papandreou, said after a meeting with Annan in New York late on Friday. «We evaluated the possibility of initiatives being taken – by the international community, by the United Nations – always, as the secretary-general said, when the political will is there. But he is definitely ready to offer his services,» Papandreou said. Before meeting with Annan, the foreign minister met too with Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, who also was in New York for the UN General Assembly meeting. «We are in a period of expectation, it is an expectation that developments in the next months will provide an opportunity for initiatives to intensify,» Papandreou said after meeting with the Cypriot president. Addressing the General Assembly, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said: «A new partnership in Cyprus should be based on a compromise between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots, and on equal status… Furthermore, a settlement should preserve bizonality on the island and ensure the security of the Turkish-Cypriot people.» Reuters saw this as an apparent softening of Turkey’s insistence on a confederation of two sovereign states – something stronger than a call for two «zones.»