ANKARA - Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas said Friday that he did not expect Ankara's draft plans for a solution to Cyprus to be different from his conditions for a settlement.
Turkish Foreign Ministry bureaucrats are drafting a document on a Turkish position for a solution in Cyprus on the basis of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's plan. Some parts of the draft document, leaked to the press, has reportedly drawn disapproval from the Turkish military.
"The Annan plan is on the table but we are told that there are changes to be made to it," Denktas said during a meeting with Turkish Cypriot farmers on the island. "I think there is no difference between what I want and what Turkey wants," he went on.
According to Denktas, the changes proposed by the Turkish side might transform the original Annan plan and one has to see if the Greek side would agree to accept them. "We have to try," he said, responding to Turkish Cypriot farmers worried over possible loss of territory under Ankara's plan.
A summit meeting of the president, prime minister, foreign minister and the chief of staff was expected to finalize the "Document on Turkish Position" but it has not yet been held after Chief of Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok reportedly demanded a more detailed discussion in the military-dominated National Security Council (MGK), rather than a summit meeting of a limited scope.
Turkish troops should stay after Turkey's EU accession
Denktas also said that Turkish military presence on the island should be maintained even after Turkey's becoming a member of the European Union, emphasizing that international agreements of 1960 gave Turkey the right to maintain troops indefinitely.
"These agreements cannot be reversed by anybody except signatories of the treaties," he said and added that Turkish troops should stay, given that British bases on the island were also to remain.