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Media Watch 2003

24 September 2003
Source: Cyprus Mail
Author: Jean Christou
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Mail of Nicosia on 24 September 2003.
Former envoy blasts Denktash

BRITAIN’S former special representative for Cyprus Lord David Hannay has said that as long as Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash remains in power there will never be a settlement of the Cyprus problem.

In a lecture in London on Monday, Hannay discussed the upcoming elections in the north, at which the Turkish Cypriot opposition hopes to oust Denktash.
“So long as the present leadership in the north of Cyprus is in place there will not be a settlement”, the outspoken peer said.

Commenting on the collapse of the talks in The Hague last March and the rejection by the Turkish Cypriot side of the Annan plan, Hannay said: “Why was this settlement not accepted and by whom? It is tempting to answer both questions by a single word - Denktash - and leave it at that, but while that is a substantial part of the answer it is not the whole of it,” Hannay said.

“Denktash’s responsibility is really not in doubt.”
“The fact that everything had to be done at the last moment, under the shadow of the EU enlargement timetable, was entirely his doing,” he added.

“At the end of last year and the beginning of 2003 we had, I believe, come very close to achieving that comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem which has been the Holy Grail of so many diplomats over the years, but which has so far eluded them all. But the talks broke down pretty definitely in March with Denktash’s flat refusal, supported by the Turkish government, to put Kofi Annan’s twice revised proposals for a settlement to a referendum of his people.”"