UN tries to force Cyprus deal

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The Independent Online
IN A DARING gambit aimed at forcing concessions from both Turkish-Cypriot and Greek-Cypriot leaders in talks to unify the island, the United Nations will today publish a map showing how much territory the Turks should give up in a settlement.

The map is expected to provoke a storm of protest in Turkey and on the island.

The Turkish-Cypriot side's hold on the island would diminish from 36 per cent at present to some 28.2 per cent under the plan, drawn up at the end of three months of intensive negotiations by both sides with the UN in New York.

Before the Turkish army invaded the island in 1974, the population was 80 per cent Greek-Cypriot, and 18 per cent Turkish-Cypriot. The new Cyprus would have two politically equal communities overseen by a secular federal government, with one sovereignty and a new flag. The legislature would comprise an upper and lower house, one with a 50:50 ratio, the other with a 70:30 Greek-Cypriot/Turkish-Cypriot ratio.

Rauf Denktash, the Turkish-Cypriot leader, has vented his fury on the UN Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, for arbitrarily drawing a line through the island in a way that would, Mr Denktash said, lead to the displacement of many Turkish residents. Mr Denktash was also adamant about holding on to the fertile citrus-growing region of Morphu, acquired by force during the Turkish invasion.

The two sides are to resume two decades of negotiations at the end of October.

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