- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 12, 2000

Death of a Scot

The British Embassy is flying its flag at half-staff in honor of Scotland's Donald Dewar, who led the fight to reopen a Scottish Parliament after 300 years.

Mr. Dewar, who died suddenly yesterday, served as "first minister" of a Scotland with greater home-rule powers within the United Kingdom. Mr. Dewar, 63, died following a brain hemorrhage

British Ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer said, "I was deeply saddened to hear of the sudden death of Donald Dewar. He had a distinguished career in British and Scottish politics. He made history as Scotland's first 'first minister.'

"Scotland will miss him, but so will all of us who had the privilege of knowing him."

The Rev. Lloyd Ogilvie, the chaplain of the Senate, met Mr. Dewar on visits to Scotland, once before he became first minister and once after the Scottish Parliament was reconvened last year.

"As a Scottish-American, I join with the people of Scotland in deep appreciation for the dynamic leadership of Donald Dewar," said Mr. Ogilvie, who also serves as president of the St. Andrew's Society of Washington, a major Scottish-American organization.

"He was a man of vision, of integrity. He really knew how to bring people together."

Alison Duncan, the Washington representative of the Scottish National Party (SNP), said Scots of all political stripes mourn his death. The SNP, the official opposition, promotes independence from Britain, while Mr. Dewar's Labor Party supports the union.

"It is indeed a sad day and a sore loss for Scotland," she said.

Condolences to Mr. Dewar's family can be sent to Peter Reid at the British Embassy, 3100 Massachusetts Ave. NW 20008.

Cypriot optimist

Cyprus Ambassador Erato Kozakou Marcoullis remains an optimist, as her government prepares for a fifth round of U.N.-sponsored talks on the divided island on Nov. 1.

"I don't like the word 'intractable.' It's not," she insisted yesterday.

Turkish-Cypriot representatives have said the talks, which are held through intermediaries, are deadlocked. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), recognized only by Turkey, is calling for full diplomatic status with the Greek-Cypriot authority, the internationally recognized government of the entire island.

"I think we have to find a way to live together in a common homeland," Mrs. Kozakou Marcoullis said. "There are so many elements that bind us together. Of course, some would say there are so many elements that separate us.

"But being an optimist, I prefer to think positively. That is why we are so serious about the negotiations."

A Turkish-Cypriot leader who visited Washington earlier this month expressed doubts about the commitment of their Greek counterparts.

"So long as the Greek-Cypriot government insists on being recognized as the government of all of Cyprus, we could be attending the 555th round," TRNC Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu told editors and reporters at The Washington Times.

The Turkish-Cypriots are proposing a confederation of equal states as a condition for reunification of the island, divided since 1974 when Turkish troops landed on Cyprus. The Greek-Cypriots call that an invasion, while Turkish-Cypriots consider the Turks protectors against the Greek-Cypriot majority.

Mrs. Kozakou Marcoullis expressed frustration with the Turkish-Cypriot strategy.

"It's not the attitude. It's the position they have taken that bothers us," she said.

The Greek-Cypriot government insists on reunification under a federal government that includes two equal communities, a position embraced by the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Britain.

"Federation is the line. We cannot cross that line," she said.

Mrs. Kozakou Marcoullis also expressed appreciation to the Clinton administration for continuing to emphasize Cypriot diplomacy.

"We hope that interest will continue whatever the outcome of the presidential election," she said.

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