President sticks to ‘no’

Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday repeated his opposition to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plan for Cyprus’s reunification. He said he would do all he could to help Turkish Cypriots enjoy the island’s EU accession to the EU. He did not say what these benefits would be. Papadopoulos, in a speech wrapping up the referendum campaign, played down the consequences of the Greek Cypriots’ voting «no» in tomorrow’s referendum. He said things would not be so dramatic as some would present them. US and EU officials have suggested that they will not leave the Turkish Cypriots without any reward if they accept the UN plan but the Greek Cypriots do not. This could result in an easing of the embargo on Turkish Cypriots. Papadopoulos said the Annan plan might have some benefits but that in some ways it legitimizes the Turkish invasion, referring to the fact that Turkish settlers and troops will remain on the island. The number of troops is to drop from some 35,000 today to 650.

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