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Last Updated:  Thursday, 6 March, 2003, 20:37 GMT
Cyprus deal 'set to fail'
Abdullah Gul and Rauf Denktash
Denktash (right) thinks the plan needs more work
Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has told the Turkish parliament his government is unlikely to agree to a UN plan to re-unify Cyprus.

Mr Denktash, who had a day of talks in Ankara, said he would like to see changes to the UN proposals to end the partition of Cyprus which has been divided since 1974.

The veteran leader has made no secret of his dislike of the UN plan, and many had hoped that Turkey - the only country that recognises northern Cyprus - might push him towards compromise.
This plan doesn't solve the Cyprus issue
Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash

But a statement from Turkish officials after several hours of talks said: "In its present form, the plan is far from meeting the basic concerns and expectations of Turkish Cypriots."

The BBC's Jonny Dymond in Ankara says the UN plan, like so many before it, looks finished.

'Hegemony'

The UN plan would create a common state with two equal components - one for the Turkish Cypriots in the north, the other for Greek Cypriots in the south.

"If the plan is accepted as it is ... Turkish Cypriots will be put under Greek hegemony," Mr Denktash told the Turkish parliament.

"This plan doesn't solve the Cyprus issue."

VIEWS FROM CYPRUS
Cypriots give their opinion of the peace process

The UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has called on Mr Denktash and the Greek Cypriot President-elect Tassos Papadopoulos to accept the plan on 10 March.

Under the Annan plan, all Cypriots would vote on the peace proposals in two simultaneous referendums at the end of the month, which would pave the way for Cyprus to join the European Union next year as a united country.

Public pressure on Mr Denktash to agree to the plan has been increasing, with growing numbers of Turkish Cypriots hoping to end their international isolation.

But if no agreement is reached, only Greek Cyprus will enter the EU.


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