The Financial Times reported that EU diplomats say that Washington has undermined a UN-brokered deal over the island when an agreement in principle was in prospect this week. Rauf Denktash, president of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which only Turkey recognises, is said to have ‘got wind of the deal’ and has toughened his terms.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is reported to be furious with the US but powerless to act.