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Turkish Cypriot trade unionist criticises Denktash
2003-04-04 10:02:09

Nicosia, Apr 4 (CNA) -- A prominent Turkish Cypriot trade unionist Ali Gule has lashed out at Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, saying his latest move in relation to the Cyprus question was a ''tactical manoeuvre to secure a more positive approach from the (UN) Security Council.''

Gule, leader of Dev-is trade union, was commenting on a package of measures Denktash announced on Wednesday, claiming they would help the stalled peace process move forward. The EU, the UN, Britain and the US as well as the governments of Cyprus and Greece have all stressed the need to deal with such matters through the good offices mission of the UN Secretary General.|

''Denktash knew that his proposals on the resumption of talks would be rejected and this is why he submitted them. This is tactical manoeuvres to win favours with the Security Council,'' Gule said Thursday after a meeting in the free areas of the Republic with Pampis Kiritsis, leader of one of the largest Greek Cypriot trade unions.

He said Turkish Cypriots insist on a solution on the basis of a peace plan, Kofi Annan presented the two sides in Cyprus, which Denktash rejected describing it ''a crime against humanity.''

Gule said Denktash's move aims at setting out the conditions that would allow him to reject any proposals the Greek Cypriot side may put forward in the future.

He said Denktash also wanted to show that his ''good will gesture'' was not accepted by the Greek Cypriots and is trying to preempt a package of measures the government of Cyprus is preparing in support of the Turkish Cypriots.

Gule said his trade union does not consider Denktash's proposals serious and added that they were put forward in such a way so as to be rejected.

The two trade union leaders agreed that the Turkish side bears the responsibility for the collapse of the talks last month and stressed that efforts to find a negotiated settlement must continue in the UN context and on the basis of the Annan plan.

They agreed that the trade unions from both sides of the divide must intensify their efforts through increased meetings and other activities to contribute to the continuation of the peace process.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.


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