NEWS

Annan gets Nicosia hot over report

Nicosia protested strongly yesterday to the United Nations after UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he wanted the Security Council to endorse his report of last year, which recommended relaxing the isolation of the island’s Turkish-occupied part. After meeting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New York, Annan said that he would ask the Council to re-examine the document that he put together some two months after the Greek Cypriots rejected his blueprint for reunification in a referendum in April 2004. Annan said he hoped the Security Council would «take action» on it. In the report, Annan laid much of the blame for the unpopularity of his plan at the feet of President Tassos Papdopoulos. The comments drew a stinging response from Nicosia. Foreign Minister George Iacovou said they were «badly timed» since the UN was in the process of trying to broker a new round of reunification talks. «There was no reason at all to make this statement and… it has no chance of succeeding,» said Iacovou, adding that a strong protest had been lodged with the UN by Cyprus’s ambassador there.