United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim believes that negotiations on a Greek-Turkish division of territory in Cyprus could start in two months.
United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim believes that negotiations on a Greek-Turkish division of territory in Cyprus could start in two months. Speaking in Vienna on Wednesday (18 January), after flying in from Athens, Dr. Waldheim said the resumption of the talks depended on new territorial proposals promised by the Turkish community. No date or venue for the start of the talks has been decided, but Vienna in March seems likely. The Secretary-General had stopped over in his native Austria after a 12-day tour that took him to Ankara, Nicosia and Athens.
SYNOPSIS: Dr. Waldheim flew into Athens on Monday (16 January), and he was met at the airport by Greek Foreign Minister Panayotis Papaligouras. The Secretary-General had started his latest Cyprus mission in the Turkish capital of Ankara on 8 January, and he had taken with him to Greece proposals from the Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.
Cyprus has been divided since Turkish forces invaded the island in 1974. Inter-communal talks to try to resolve the problem began in Vienna three years ago, but they broke down last April.
A Greek-Cypriot offer to the Turks of 20 per cent of the land they already controlled was rejected out of hand. Now Mr. Ecevit has promised a map showing Turkey's views on the division of the island.
During his stay in Greece, Dr. Waldheim had talks with Greek Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis, and, at a news conference afterwards, he said the whole Cyprus situation had changed during his tour. He said he was more hopeful for a successful resumption of the inter-communal talks, but Mr. Karamanlis was not as optimistic. He wanted to see the Turkish proposals first. The fact that they would be concrete proposals, did not, he said, justify optimism.
Earlier in Nicosia, Dr. Waldheim had brought together for the first time President Spyros Kyprianou, leader of the majority Greek-Cypriot community, and Rauf Denktash, head of the Turkish-Cypriots. They met over lunch, and agreed that Mr. Ecevit's proposals would first be studied by Dr. Waldheim. He would then consult all parties, and only after this would a date for resuming talks be decided.