UN envoy seeks no pressure on South Cyprus
NICOSIA - The Associated Prese
Downer said a lot is being done to prepare the resumption of talks. AP photoIt would be a “major mistake” for the international community to take advantage of Greek Cypriots’ current financial crisis to pressure them into a deal reunifying the divided island, a U.N. envoy said Aug. 1.
Alexander Downer told the Associated Press in an interview that making Greek Cypriots feel that they’re being exploited because they’re weak would only elicit an “extremely negative reaction.”
Jail term for minister
“Cypriots will not be pushed around, and the weaker they feel, the less inclined they’ll want to be pushed around,” said Downer. “So, it will be a major mistake for the international community to conclude that now’s the time to put pressure on them.” Downer said a lot of work is being done to prepare the resumption of talks, expected sometime in October, but refused to disclose details. Numerous rounds of peace talks over the last four decades have ended in failure.
Meanwhile, a former Greek Cypriot defense minister was given a five-year jail term yesterday over a munitions blast two years ago which killed 13 people and crippled the island’s electricity grid. Costas Papacostas, who served in the former government, was found guilty of manslaughter and causing death through negligence.