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Power-sharing discussed 3 Nov at 7th meeting since beginning of peace talks. Amid growing public criticism, Greek Cypriot leader Christofias stressed need for patience; UN envoy Downer saw “good progress”. Christofias 21 Nov warned against Turkish interference in negotiations. Rising tensions over offshore oil exploration as Turkish naval vessel 13, 24 Nov stopped ships conducting Greek Cypriot seismic surveys.
Interior Minister Sarkozy pledged end to violence and €1 billion investment in island shortly after separatist killed in botched bomb attack, and banks and tax office bombed. Riot police injured after protestors threw explosives at nationalist march in Bastia 13 January.
2 suspected separatists died in north after bomb, reportedly intended for French-owned fire-fighting helicopters, exploded prematurely: Corsican National Liberation Front “October 22” section claimed responsibility.
Explosion 11 January destroyed buildings; no one claimed responsibility. Truce between nationalists and French government has lasted 2 months.
Crackdown on links between organised crime and nationalist violence announced in September by Interior Minister Sarkozy now underway. Leading Corsican nationalist, Charles Pieri, taken in for police questioning 14 December, placed under formal investigation 17 December for terrorism and misuse of public funds. Corsican separatist group, FLNC, announced unilateral ceasefire in surprise move 14 November after surge of violence since failed July 2003 autonomy referendum.
Corsican nationalists FLNC announced unilateral ceasefire in surprise move 14 November after surge of violence since failed July autonomy referendum.
Sporadic violence continues following failed autonomy referendum and arrests of eight separatists in July. Series of explosions 16-19 October indirectly targeting commercial interests linked to mainland France. Police barracks in southern Corsica hit by rocket 25 October. Corsican National Liberation Front bombed Paris tax office 11 October. 10 October attack on air force barracks in Nice also being investigated for link to Corsican separatists. Visits by French interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy 16 and 30 October urging dialogue; new push to address organised crime link.
French justice minister visited Corsica on 1 September following upsurge in violence in August. Suspected separatist bomb damaged supermarket on 5 September.
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