British Foreign Minister Jack Straw has outraged some Greek Cypriots by meeting the leadership of the internationally unrecognised Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
He arrived in Nicosia to vocal protests. Demonstrators said his decision to visit the north gives equal diplomatic importance to the two parts of the divided island. The Greek Cypriot government was unhappy too. Straw got to meet his counterpart George Iacovou, but President Tassos Papadopoulos refused to see him. Britain is trying to nudge Cyprus towards reunification after a United Nations peace plan foundered two years ago. Straw said the current situation was bad for both sides in Cyprus and bad for the European Union. There was a warmer atmosphere in the north, where Straw was greeted by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.