Document Date: Jul. 1, 1998
Posting Date:..... Jul. 2, 1998
From: Tampa Bay Online
OSLO, Norway (AP) - Turkish and Greek Cypriot business leaders ended a meeting in Oslo on Wednesday with a pledge to seek closer ties across their divided island even if their governments remain deadlocked.
About 50 people from both sides of Cyprus as well as Greece and Turkey met for a closed meeting under the guidance of U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke in an effort to build trust.
Tensions [in Cyprus] have increased in recent weeks as Greece and Turkey, both NATO members, briefly sent warplanes to the island in shows of strength.
On Wednesday, the delegates agreed to work together on joint projects for historic restorations, telecommunications, economic ventures, culture and sports. They urged their governments to permit and support such projects.
Holbrooke said the meeting participants do not speak for their governments, but are influential private citizens who believe that personal contact reduces misunderstandings.
The delegates agreed to meet again in Istanbul, Turkey, in November. Organizers said possible Turkish objections to Greek Cypriots visiting the country might have to be overcome.