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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-03-17

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Tuesday, March 17, 1998

Holbrooke to visit Cyprus next month

MONDAY'S Greek newspapers focused their attention on the Cyprus problem, commenting on the recent EU decision to start accession talks with Cyprus and the possibility of a visit by US Presidential Envoy Richard Holbrooke to Cyprus early next month.

Phileleftheros says that according to comments by President Clerides the US envoy will probably be visiting Cyprus early next month in an attempt to get the negotiating process started.

The President also said that it was known in European Union diplomatic circles that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's negative answer to an offer for Turkish Cypriots to participate in the accession talks had its origins in Ankara. The President said that this had been criticised by EU officials.

On a related issue the paper says that the Cypriot government is not ruling out the possibility that the UN Security Council Permanent Members pressure Denktash into changing his intransigent stance regarding the Cyprus peace talks.

Simerini says that it appears that now is the time for behind-the-scenes diplomacy by foreign envoys.

The paper notes the visit to Cyprus today of the UN chief's Special Adviser Diego Gordovez to assess the situation. It is speculated that Gordovez will try to get the two leaders in Cyprus to agree on small confidence-building measures to pave the ground for face-to-face talks.

Alithia says that following his visit to the island Gordovez will submit a report to the Security Council.

According to the paper, depending on the observations of the UN diplomat, the Security Council might eventually be forced to take a tougher stand on the Cyprus problem. Simerini bases its speculation on comments by President Clerides that the UN might be willing in the near future to act under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. Chapter 7 offers the possibility of sanctions.

To Tharros says that according to President Clerides the aim of his visit to London has been achieved.

The President said that the main aim was the adoption of a decision for a definite date for the start of the Cyprus accession talks.

Haravghi focuses on a speech by Akel leader Demetris Christofias during which he said that his party is now a political platform on which there is room for democratic forces other than those of Akel.

Christofias said that a stronger Akel will form the backbone of a social and political movement which will safeguard the ambitions of the people of Cyprus.

Agon says that the US initiative to solve the Cyprus problem might be delayed because of Denktash's intransigent stance.

The paper says that the US will talk to EU officials to devise a formula that will enable the Turkish Cypriots to participate on the Cyprus negotiating team with the EU. The US believes this will be the development which will signal the re-start of the Cyprus peace talks.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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