Talks aimed at reuniting the divided island of Cyprus suffered another setback on Wednesday, as Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash said he would not attend the next round of talks.
"I don't believe (the situation) will change. Therefore I won't go to Switzerland," Denktash said on Turkish state television on Wednesday. However, the Turkish Cypriot leader promised that other members of his team would still take part at the meeting and make an effort to find an agreement. The announcement deals a blow to United Nations efforts to reunify Cyprus before it joins the EU on the May 1. If agreement is not reached by that time, only the southern part of the island will join the EU. A meeting between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot representatives, as well as Greece and Turkey is scheduled to take place next week in Switzerland. If the deadlock continues, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan will settle all the remaining issues in a bid to submit the final plan to referendums in both communities on April 20. Cyprus has been divided since 1974. (EUobserver.com)