NEWS

Denktash sends report, sniffs at EU funds

Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash yesterday said he has given the Greek-Cypriot government a report on missing people from ethnic fighting on the island and the 1974 Turkish invasion. «We have submitted our report to the south and will pursue further work on this issue,» Denktash told journalists in the occupied sector of Nicosia. On the other side of the dividing line, Cypriot government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said the report was forwarded on Monday, 11 days after the government sent a similar report to Denktash. During a meeting early this month, Denktash and Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides agreed to exchange reports on missing Cypriots as part of the ongoing process to achieve a permanent solution to the island’s occupation and division. Around 1,400 Greek Cypriots and 800 Turkish Cypriots have been listed as missing. Meanwhile, Denktash said any financial support from the European Union to the Turkish Cypriots should be sent directly, by-passing Cypriot government channels. He said aid through Greek-Cypriot channels «is not acceptable.» On Monday, a senior EU official said the union could offer «a nice round number» in special aid for the occupied north if the peace talks bear fruit. He said the European Commission has earmarked 25 billion euros of regional aid and 10 billion euros in direct agriculture payments for Cyprus in 2004-2006, but the bulk of the regional spending would go to the Turkish Cypriots if there was a peace deal. The Commission will discuss this today. (Combined reports)