NEWS

Cypriots skeptical over talks

Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will have their first face-to-face talks in four years, according to a United Nations announcement yesterday. The talks, which will take place in Nicosia on December 4, were welcomed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan but the Cypriot government expressed skepticism about Denktash’s intentions. UN envoy Alvaro de Soto is expected to be present at the talks. Our side will be especially pleased if Denktash accompanies this tactical change in procedure with a substantial change in his views to allow candid talks on the Cyprus problem, Cypriot government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said. We hope this meeting will be such that a momentum is created for more talks, paving the way for a solution… We are not looking to score diplomatic points, he said. But we have our suspicions that Mr. Denktash is not completely sincere, judging by recent statements which have not helped improve the political climate.