NEWS

Greek Cypriots suggest changes

Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday responded to demands from the United Nations and the United States that his government clarify its position regarding efforts to reunify Cyprus. Without elaborating, Papadopoulos said he had given his comments in writing «to those to whom I should.» In an interview with the Greek-Cypriot paper Phileleftheros, Papadopoulos said that he did not have any illusions that Nicosia could achieve any changes to the reunification plan proposed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. «But we are obliged to try,» he added. Papadopoulos said that he had already expressed his position on the issues of Turkish forces and settlers and the pursuit of a joint monetary policy. He has been sounding out foreign leaders on specific changes, he said, without elaborating. But he added that he did not know when a new initiative would emerge, the Phileleftheros reported. The new US envoy to Cyprus, Laura Kennedy, was on the island last week and on Friday she met with Papadopoulos. «We know that in his report (to the Security Council) the secretary-general stated that the rejection of his settlement plan by the Greek-Cypriot electors raised fundamental questions in his mind regarding their commitment to a bizonal, bicommunal solution of the Cyprus problem,» Kennedy said. The comment drew fire from Papadopoulos’s DIKO party, which accused Kennedy of favoring the Turkish side. Foreign Minister George Iacovou, with whom she met also, told her Greek Cypriots had not yet decided what their next steps will be. «Our proposals will be unveiled following consultations with all political parties, therefore this will not be immediate. It will take some time,» Iacovou told reporters.