NEWS

Denktash dismisses Clerides land plan

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash yesterday dismissed a Greek Cypriot proposal to give him control of 24 percent of the island in a future federated state. Territory is one the thorniest issues faced by Denktash and Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides. «As long as our sovereignty is not accepted, we think territorial discussions are superfluous,» Denktash was quoted as saying by the Turkish Cypriot news agency TAK. He said Nicosia’s proposal would assign only 24 percent of the island to a Turkish region in a federated Cyprus. Turkish Cypriots have held about 37 percent since 1974.. [In Athens, Prime Minister Costas Simitis expressed disappointment at the course of the Cyprus talks, telling a Cabinet meeting that Denktash had not effectively budged from his positions. A planned visit to Athens by Clerides for consultations with Simitis has been canceled, government spokesman Christos Protopappas said, as «there is nothing new to discuss.»] The embryonic EU force will be a pool of resources rather than a standing army. It is supposed to be deployable by 2003.