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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-03-24

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Tuesday, March 24, 1998

Clinton opposes missile deployment

ALL Greek newspapers on Monday dealt with the situation as it has evolved following the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's refusal to attend inter-communal talks and also focused on information that US President Bill Clinton, in his letter of congratulations to President Clerides on his re- election, has asked that the Cypriot government cancels the deployment of the S-300 missiles.

Phileleftheros says that UN envoy Diego Cordovez is planning to return to the region in May to continue his contacts after having failed to convince Denktash to attend inter-communal talks.

The paper says that according to UN sources the Security Council does not appear ready at the moment to pressure the Turkish Cypriot leader to return to the negotiating table.

On the missiles issue the paper says that Clinton points out in his letter that cancellation of the deployment of the S-300s would help sustain the momentum of the US peace initiative.

Simerini says that following Denktash's intransigent stance the Cypriot government appears to favour the mediation of US presidential envoy Richard Holbrooke.

According to the paper a government source acknowledged that this is the right time for Holbrooke to intervene so that the Turkish side adopts a more positive stance on the resumption of the talks. According to some Turkish press reports the American diplomat will be in Turkey some time before the middle of next month.

Alithia highlights Bill Clinton's `suggestion' to President Clerides that a cancellation of the deployment of the S-300s will be a move in the right direction.

The paper says that in his letter the American President also urges Clerides to make a good-will gesture to the Turkish Cypriots at the first opportunity he gets.

Haravghi also deals with the missiles issue, saying that during his recent contacts in Cyprus US diplomat Thomas Miller said that Turkish threats for a military strike against the S-300s should not be taken lightly.

The paper says that in his letter Clinton points out the need for `spectacular' progress in the Cyprus problem to be achieved soon.

Agon says that the island's semi-government organisations have piled debts amounting to about half a billion pounds.

According to the paper the Minister of Finance is studying the situation and will have to take measures soon. The minister will discuss any measures he will propose with the boards of management of the organisations before making a final decision.

To Tharros says that the British government is refusing to sell Greece any submarines because of the on-going division of Cyprus.

The paper says that because of the size of this type of British submarine they are considered ideal for operations in the area between Crete and Cyprus and not so much for the Aegean.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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