NEWS

Security Council briefed on Cyprus

The United Nations’ special envoy for Cyprus yesterday briefed the Security Council on the state of affairs following the failed UN peace plan, leaving little hope for the prospect of a new reunification drive. Alvaro de Soto said that the Greek Cypriots «will have to reconsider the result of the process over the next few months,» adding that, while the current impasse lasts, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan sees no basis for launching a new initiative after his peace plan was rejected by the Greek Cypriots in an April 24 referendum. In Athens, President Costis Stephanopoulos called for «certain basic clarifications and improvements to the [Annan] plan, which will benefit both sides.» «The negative outcome of the referendum is due to the almost unanimous conviction of the Greek Cypriots that the plan they were presented with did not ensure equilibrium between the two communities, nor yet did it contain the necessary guarantees for the future course of their relations,» Stephanopoulos added. Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis warned against recognition of Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus by the European Union, or the international community. «Any move in the direction of recognition would be counterproductive, by definition, as it would serve to draw the two communities apart instead of bringing them closer to each other,» he told journalists. Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said yesterday that Ankara was not, at this point, seeking recognition for the occupied north. «The more reasonably we proceed, the greater our gains are,» he said. «If we ask for things that cannot be accepted easily, we will just put our friends in an uncomfortable position.»