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Washington Post criticises Denktash's stance at UN-led talks
2003-03-14 17:40:19

by Apostolis Zoupaniotis-- New York, Mar 14 (CNA) -- ''Thinking Parochially, Acting Selfishly'' was the title yesterday of an article in the ''Washington Post'', criticising Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's negative stance at the UN-led Cyprus talks, earlier this week in The Hague, aiming at reaching a settlement of the protracted Cyprus problem.

''The defiance of one grumpy old man derailed peace plans put forward by diplomats from the United Nations and the European Union this week,'' said Jim Hoagland in his article.|

He stressed that ''the Turkish Cypriot leader spurned Annan's fair-minded plan to end the island's division and permit a united Cyprus to enter the EU in 2004. Denktash, supported by hard-liners in Ankara, preferred to cling to personal power rather than accept the dislocation of change.''

''Denktash at age 79 captures the spirit of this moment of political history with his shortsighted pursuit of self-advantage. Around the globe, both economic and political interdependence are in fast retreat as national leaders chase rather than lead public opinion. They do almost anything to avoid talking to their unhappy electorates about their faltering economies and blocked horizons,'' Hoagland noted.

He said that ''Denktash's defiance of Annan helps bring perspective to the confluence of crises that the world body, and the world, confront today in Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Ivory Coast and elsewhere. The spurt of rapidly accelerating international interdependence -- globalization in shorthand -- that dominated the 1990s has run its course for the time being as nations and leaders retrench and focus relentlessly on self-protection.''

''Call it the Denktash perspective: The United Nations possesses no self- enforcing mechanisms or goals. It has to be reinvented with each resolution and for each case. A minor potentate on a Mediterranean island or the world's only remaining superpower can disregard its decisions as need or ambition arises.'' Washington Post's article added.


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