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    War of words between British-Greek Cypriot leaders

    Hürriyet Haber
    10.02.2006 - 10:41 | Son Güncelleme:

    British and Greek Cypriot authority leaders find tension between them mounting, following British Foreign Minister Jack Straw's sharp criticism of Greek Cypriot rejection of Turkey's latest plan of action for the island. The plan, presented by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, called for isolationary measures against Northern Cyprus to be lifted, in exchange for Turkish opening of air and sea ports to Greek Cypriots.

    In response to Tasos Papadopulos's outright rejection of Ankara's latest plan, FM Straw said this: "We would not accept Greek Cyprus into the EU if the question came up today. If Papadopulos continues to behave this way, on way or the other, Northern Cyprus will be recognized." An answer to these strong comments came from Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Yorgo Yakuvu, who said "England should not be a mediator, those who are supporting the Turkish plan are divisive."
    Straw's meeting with Talat upped tension
    The diplomatic war of words between British and Greek Cypriot leaders actually began with British FM Straw's visit to the island, during which he met with Northern Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat in the latter's official offices. It was also during this visit that Turkish FM Gul revealed Ankara's new 10 article plan for action on Cyprus, for which Straw expressed full support. Cypriot leaders immediately dashed all hopes of the plan's acceptance, saying they would sit at the negotiating table not with England and the US, but with China, France, and Russia.
    Speaking further on the subject in recent days, Straw has also said "Papadopulos is not negotiating in good faith. The real tragedy is that we have helped him. If the membership question came up today, no one would even touch it, given the current conditions. The reason the membership was supported at the time was the sensible leadership of Glafkos Klerides, who wanted a solution.
    As for the Greek Cypriot FM Yakuvo, he says that political divisiveness is not being supported by Papadopulos, but by the British in their voiced support for Ankara's plan.
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