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Media Watch 2003

25 September 2003
Source: Cyprus Mail
Author: Jean Christou
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Mail of Nicosia on 25 September 2003.
Papadopoulos: no solution as long as Denktash is in power

THE Greek Cypriot side is not concerned about who will make up the new leadership in the north after the December elections, but as long as Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash remains in power, there is little chance of a settlement, President Tassos Papadopoulos said in New York.

Papadopoulos, who is attending the UN General Assembly, echoed the words of Britain’s former Cyprus envoy Lord David Hannay that no solution could be found unless Denktash was removed from power.

“What matters is if there will be a new leadership that will express the Turkish Cypriots’ will in such a way that Ankara will be able to say if it really wants to remove Mr. Denktash, that he does not any longer represent Turkish Cypriots. But I don’t think there is a chance to find a settlement with Mr Denktash”, Papadopoulos told reporters late on Tuesday.

He said the possibility of any other Turkish Cypriot political leader offered some hope that he would have views different to those of Denktash, and that this could lead to a settlement before Cyprus joined the EU in May 2004.

“With Mr Denktash there is no hope, according to his own statements, of finding a solution. So anything else at least presents the hope that they may have a different view; but the key to that is what Ankara wants,” Papadopoulos said.

Commenting on the controversy over the possible monitoring of elections in the north, Papadopoulos said the damage has already been done in that thousands of illegal Turkish settlers had recently been granted citizenship and had been included on the electoral list.

Papadopoulos, who was due to address the 58th session of the UN General Assembly late last night , also had meetings scheduled yesterday with US State Department Special Co-ordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston and the UN Secretary-general’s special advisor for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto.

Referring to his planned meetings with UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan and De Soto Papadopoulos said they would focus on the Annan plan, which Denktash has rejected..

“I will reiterate our well known position that we are ready to resume negotiations, with no preconditions, when the Secretary-general invites us. We have raised some points concerning the Annan plan, which are already known and which I handed over to him in writing when he came to Cyprus. I reiterated them in The Hague and they have never been withdrawn,” he said."