Denktash dines in Hellenic Cyprus


Nicosia - The Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktash, made history on Saturday night by crossing the Green Line which divides Nicosia to dine with the Greek Cypriot President, Mr Glafkos Clerides, reports Michael Jansen.

This was the first time Mr Denktash visited the internationally recognised republic since the northern third of the island was occupied by the Turkish army in 1974. He entered the Greek Cypriot sector through the UN-controlled airport, instead of the sole crossing point between the two parts of the capital, and was sped by police escort along a secret route to the private home of Mr Clerides. He had dined with Mr Denktash in the Turkish sector on December 5th, after a breakthrough summit which committed the two men to negotiate until they reach agreement on a new political system for the island.

Security was tight along Makarios Avenue thronged with seasonal shoppers and cafe-crawling youngsters. Some 200 people gathered at a main junction to demonstrate their support for a negotiated settlement, while about 70 protested at Eleftheria (Freedom) Square opposite the Venetian walls of the old city.