Annan:demand for recognition a stumbling block for progress
By Apostolis Zoupaniotis--United Nations, Jun 13 (CNA) -- The demand by the Turkish Cypriot leader,
Rauf Denktash, to get recognition for his self-styled "state" in the Turkish-
occupied part of Cyprus, is the major block preventing the two parties from
coming together in the face-to-face talks in Cyprus, said last night, UN
Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Answering questions of Turkish daily's "Hurriet" correspondent in New York, in the presence of other journalists, the SG explained that the United Nations gave "some suggestions" to the two leaders, (President Glafcos Clerides and Denktash) "as to how they can proceed and make progress without letting this issue be a stumbling block". He said the two leaders "were sensitive to the suggestions" he made.|
Speaking specifically about Denktash, he said that the Turkish Cypriot leader "would want that recognition status clarified as soon as possible".
Annan stated that "the question of recognition for the 'Turkish Cypriot state', is part of the discussions, and one would only know the outcome at the end of the discussions". The SG said he believed "we should be able to work around that".
Annan talked about his Sunday meeting in Rome, with his special adviser on Cyprus Alvaro De Soto, who informed him about what progress was made in the talks.
The Secretary General said "in the past couple of weeks, the two leaders have made good progress on one of the core issues. And I hope they will move ahead and make similar progress on the other core issues".
Clerides and Denktash were discussing the question of security. The other three core issues, as described by the UN chief, are governance, territory and property.
He mentioned that when he was on the island, he was surprised on how much people on both sides would want to see this issue resolved. "It was funny", he noted. "I had gone to encourage the leaders to make a genuine effort, but the people were encouraging me to stick with it and push for peace, which was also a good signal that the people want it, and I hope the leaders will deliver," he said.
He said that he urged both leaders "to really intensify their efforts and try and reach the end of June deadline that they set themselves. Then I encouraged them to try and at least resolve all major, all the core issues, so that we can begin doing some legal drafting after that".
Annan explained that "Mr. Clerides thought it was possible", while "Mr. Denktash felt he needed a little bit more time".
Asked if he is expecting a breakthrough, Annan said he "would hope that they would make considerable progress by end of June", when he will reassess the situation.