Annan: Cyprus talks fail
Talks to reunify war-divided Cyprus have failed, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan announced Tuesday as he left all-night negotiations with Greek and Turkish leaders on the Mediterranean island.
"We have reached the end of the road," Annan said, according to AP.
The talks stumbled over Turkish insistence that their breakaway Cypriot state win full recognition, and demands by the Greeks for the right of refugees to return to homes in northern Cyprus that they left 29 years ago.
"The efforts to salvage the project of a united Cyprus ... regretfully have not proved successful," Annan said.
Annan had used Cyprus' impending entry into the European Union to pressure Greek Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to agree on a federation plan that would bring the two sides together under a single weak central government.
"The Annan plan is not acceptable," Denktash said, complaining that the proposal to allow a limited return of Greek refugees would require 100,000 Turkish Cypriots to leave their homes -- a figure contested by the Greek community.
Greek officials said their side agreed in principle to hold a popular vote, but Denktash told reporters, "this was not a plan we could ask the people to vote on."
Annan left open the possibility of resuming the talks at a later stage. "My plan remains on the table" for the two leaders to pick up whenever they are ready, he said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)