NEWS

Papandreou, Annan discuss Cyprus at UN

NEW YORK – The priority justifiably being given to combating terrorism should not curtail the United Nations’ efforts to revive talks between Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in a bid to end the Cyprus problem, Foreign Minister George Papandreou told UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in a meeting at the UN on Wednesday. Papandreou said that the Cyprus issue and other regional conflicts, such as those in the Middle East and the Balkans were often the cause of terrorist acts. That was why now, more than ever, the international community should work toward solving them, he added. Annan expressed his displeasure with Denktash for having refused, in early September, Annan’s invitation to rejoin the indirect talks with Clerides. Denktash demands that the international community first recognize the breakaway state in northern Cyprus that only Turkey recognizes. Papandreou and Annan agreed on the need for the broadest possible international alliance against terrorism. The Greek foreign minister also expressed Athens’s support for the UN’s involvement in the issue. The 40-minute meeting between Annan and Papandreou also covered developments in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the Balkans in general, and they discussed ways in which the UN could contribute toward achieving and maintaining stability in the region.