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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-01-24

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, January 24, 1998

Defence Dogma takes centre stage

THE DOGMA of the Unified Defence Space with Greece featured as the main election issue of the day after Greek Defence Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos said there was no need for the Dogma to be governed by an agreement.

This was seen by most papers as a direct reply to presidential candidate George Iacovou who has demanded that the Dogma be made official by the signing of an agreement between Greece and Cyprus.

Agon reported that Tsochadzopoulos's views were conveyed by Edek leader Dr Vassos Lyssarides, who had met the minister in Greece. The minister's view was that a formal agreement would weaken rather than strengthen the Dogma because its mode of operation would be changed.

Lyssarides was quoted as saying that Cyprus was currently included in Greece's defence planning, but an agreement would diminish the scope of the Dogma.

Alithia accused Iacovou of insulting the Greek government and Lyssarides by expressing doubts about their positions on the Dogma and by insisting that an agreement be signed.

The paper said Iacovou's stand was the result of his efforts to bridge the major differences over the Dogma between Akel and Diko, the two parties backing his candidacy. It also said the government and the parties had criticised Iacovou's stand.

Machi said Iacovou's "lies" had been exposed. Iacovou had claimed that Tsochadzopoulos had favoured the signing of an agreement on the Dogma.

After the Greek minister's comments, Iacovou did an 180-degree turn, saying he was not demanding a two-state agreement governing the Dogma. All he wanted now was an exchange of letters, settling outstanding issues concerning the Dogma.

Phileleftheros said the Dogma had sparked the latest electoral confrontation. It predicted that the issue of defence would be instrumental in determining the choice of the smaller parties over which candidate to back in the second ballot.

Defence was a basic issue on which all candidates should take a clear stand, Lyssarides was quoted as saying. Their stand would determine which candidate the smaller parties would back.

Haravghi said an election strategy meeting of Iacovou's backers, attended by representatives of Diko, Akel and the candidate's campaign team, concluded that victory was certain.

The meeting noted that in the last fortnight President Clerides had intensified his campaign, canvassing Diko supporters behind the scenes. The meeting decided that Iacovou would adopt a more dynamic campaign plan.

Simerini led with a report about the TV row between Spyros Kyprianou and under-secretary to the president Pantelis Kouros, whom the Diko leader alleged was running the country. Kouros denied the allegation, challenging Kyprianou to back his claims with evidence.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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