Nicosia’s terms for new talks

Nicosia could re-enter negotiations to establish a peace deal on the island, provided there is no binding time framework and international arbitration, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said in an interview yesterday. Speaking to Cyprus’s Haravgi newspaper, Papadopoulos said there would have to be «substantial changes» to the reunification blueprint drafted by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan before Nicosia would join in new talks. «From our past experience, I do not think it would be wise to accept an arbitration process again,» he said. In an April 24 referendum, a week before Cyprus joined the European Union, Greek Cypriots rejected the Annan Plan while Turkish Cypriots voted in favor. Papadopoulos also accused Turkey of trying to revive the peace process to wriggle out of its commitment to sign a customs deal with Cyprus before October 3, when Ankara is to start accession talks with the EU. The deal would be seen as a hint of recognition for the Republic of Cyprus.