New UN plan for Cyprus?

Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos will discuss the prospects of a new United Nations mediation for the end of the island’s 31-year-old partition with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York. Papadopoulos left yesterday for the United States to attend the UN’s General Assembly. He will address the assembly on September 18 and, along with other chiefs of state, will sign an international treaty on countering nuclear terrorism. Before going to New York, he will visit a Florida clinic for his annual check-up. Upon his departure, Papadopoulos told reporters that Annan has prepared a short-list of candidates for the post of special envoy to Cyprus, adding that he expected Annan to make the appointment Papadopoulos last year opposed an Annan-brokered proposal that would have resulted in the reunification of Cyprus and urged the Greek Cypriot community to reject it in a referendum, which it overwhelmingly did. The Turkish Cypriot community in the Turkish-occupied north accepted the proposal, by a thin margin. The rejection of the proposal has been used as an excuse by Turkey not to recognize the Cypriot government even though it has applied to join the European Union. Turkey, which has extended a customs protocol to apply to all EU members, including Cyprus, also issued a unilateral declaration saying it would keep denying access to its ports and airports to vessels from the southern part of the island. This stance has been criticized by several EU members.