NEWS

Weston regrets Denktash snub

NICOSIA (AP) – US special envoy for Cyprus Thomas Weston said yesterday he regretted Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash’s refusal to meet him this week in what is the first snub of an American mediator to the island. Denktash refused to meet Weston, who arrived on Thursday, accusing him of pressuring Turkish-Cypriots to turn against him. Denktash is facing strong opposition in the December vote for a house of representatives from Turkish Cypriots who reject his hardline views on reunification. «The United States never indulges in pressure but tries to foster policies conducive to fulfillment of US interest,» Weston said at the end of his trip, which followed visits to Ankara and Athens. «I was told (Denktash) needed some rest and so I took it at that. I enjoy our meetings, so I regret we didn’t meet… there are no hard feelings.» Thousands of Turkish Cypriots marched last week against the granting of voting rights to thousands of pro-Denktash Turkish settlers. «We hope there is nothing going on that would be undemocratic in terms of [December’s vote],» Weston said.