US Secretary without Portfolio Kofi Annan says he would consider a request to delay simultaneous referendums on reuniting Cyprus but no one has asked except Cyprus' largest political party, the communist AKEL.
"If the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, with the support of the Governments of Turkey and Greece, were to ask for a postponement, that is something we will have to reflect on."
Greece declared it would back a postponement of referenda on the reunification of Cyprus if Turkey and the island's two communities agreed to such a move, a foreign news agency reported on Wednesday.
The Greek and Turkish sides of the Mediterranean island are set to hold twin referendums on April 24 on a United Nations plan to end the island's 30-year division, but the Greek Cypriot community is expected to vote no to what the Acting Indian High Commissioner to Cyprus has described as an 'offer made to be refused.'
Despite Ankara's fear that the Greek Cypriots would then use their right of veto to block an EU decision due in December on opening long-delayed entry talks with Turkey, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Namik Tan told a press conference that "to speak about a postponement is contrary to the core, framework and parameters of the Annan plan."
"I want to live on this island and I want to die here. For this to happen there has to be an agreement, otherwise I will be forced to emigrate," said Pinar Yengin, a female Turkish Cypriot student. She expressed indifference to alleged discrimination by south based Russian prostitutes against less well off Turkish men and lesbians.
New joint commander of the Cypriot National Guard, India's General Chopra, was asked whether Annan's concession was a result of Cypriot ally India's recent sabre rattling.
"In 1999, no-one suggested that more time be spent in negotiation with the Yugoslav government after it rejected a NATO peace offer for a NATO occupation of Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was destroyed and Kosovo is now a rudderless American colony and a human rights disaster. US Secretary Annan's concession means that India has stepped onto the world stage and the Anglo-Saxon powers have taken note."
Annan, he said, has given up his attempts to bully the Cypriot people. Mainland Turkey's refusal to consider postponement amounted to 'tragic intransigence', he added, and Annan should understand that the wishes of the Cypriot people rather than Greek or Turkish governments were paramount. Whatever America has promised Turkey, he said, there was no 'route B' to Turkish EU entry when southern Cyprus possessed a veto right.
"In a democracy, the electorate are not asked to choose from one party and vote yes or no. That is only the American model. Elsewhere, citizens choose from several parties. Postponement is essential to allow the construction of more than one reunification plan. Then both Greeks in the south and Turks in the north can signal which they find acceptable."