NICOSIA - Turkish Cypriot side canceled plans on Thursday for a meeting
between the two communities' leaders after Greek Cypriots pressured an English
football team to call off a friendly match in the breakaway north.
English League One club Luton Town canceled a friendly match scheduled on
Wednesday night against Turkish Cypriot team Cetinkaya in northern Cyprus due to
angry protests from the Cyprus Football Association, which said the match was
Rasit Pertev, an aide to Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, accused the
Greek Cypriots of "not even being able to tolerate a friendly match." He added
that under such circumstances, it was impossible to arrange any meeting between
the leaders of the two communities.
However, the Greek Cypriot side hopes that Talat will make second thoughts so
that the meeting will take place.
Talat told reporters on Tuesday that he had accepted an invitation from
Tassos Papadopoulos, Cyprus President and Greek Cypriot leader to meet each
other in a bid to end the stalemate in reunification process.
Local media expected that the two leaders could meet within this month.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged earlier this month the two leaders to
build on progress achieved to date, by showing the necessary imagination and
political courage to move from talks about procedures to real engagement in
Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey militarily intervened and occupied the
north of the island following a coup by a group of Greek officers who pushed for
union with Greece.