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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-03-19

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, March 19, 1998

The EU, the UN and the missing

THE USUAL mix of stories about EU accession talks, the Cyprus peace efforts and the missing featured on yesterday's front pages.

Simerini warned that Britain's envoy Sir David Hannay had made "dangerous interpretations" which left the window open for the recognition of the Turkish Cypriot through their participation in accession negotiations. The British EU presidency's inaugural statement for the start of Cyprus' accession talks was developing into a diplomatic scandal.

This was made evident in Sir David's interpretation of President Clerides' proposal for Turkish Cypriot participation in accession talks. According to Sir David, with his proposal, Clerides saw the Turkish Cypriot community as being on an equal footing with the Republic and implicitly recognised the pseudo-state by inviting it to send its representatives to the talks.

Machi accused Akel of undermining Cyprus' accession talks, by proposing that these start only after the participation of the Turkish Cypriots was settled. Akel had proposed this during a National Council meeting, the paper claimed.

Alithia dismissed the allegations that 14 of the people listed as missing were living in a country close to Cyprus. It described these allegations by the President of the National Struggle Committee for the Missing, Father Christoforos, and a Cypriot expatriate as "irresponsible", needlessly upsetting the relatives of the missing.

The issue of the missing required responsible handlings, it said, adding that any reports should be kept secret and be investigated discreetly. The handling showed a complete lack of respect for the feelings of relatives of the missing, the paper said.

Agon said that the government was committed to investigate everything relating to the missing. It was even prepared to exhume the remains of unidentified soldiers buried in graves in Lakatamia and the main Nicosia cemetery as part of its investigations.

Phileleftheros reported the obvious, saying that the outcome of the contacts that UN envoy Diego Cordovez would have in Cyprus would determine the next moves of the other Cyprus mediators.

However, Cyprus-based diplomats were very sceptical about the prospects of lifting the deadlock. They all attributed their pessimism to the stance of Rauf Denktash, the paper said.

Haravghi led with a report about a dispute at the Foreign Ministry which had caused a two-hour work stoppage by staff, who were protesting about certain government decisions regarding certain appointments. The bone of contention is a senior post which the government will leave vacant for four months, for reasons that remain unclear.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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