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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-05-23

Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, May 23, 1998

Israel opposes S-300 deal

ISRAEL has jumped on the US and EU bandwagon, adding its voice to calls for the cancellation of the S-300 missile deal, Machi reported yesterday.

Israel and Britain are putting fellow objectors the US and even Turkey in the shade when it comes to raising a fuss about the missile deal, the right- wing daily reported. The paper said US officials have revealed that both Israel and Britain are concerned about the uses to which the radar system accompanying the Russian-made ground-to-air missiles might be put. The Israelis and British fear the S-300 tombstone radar system would black out other radar systems scanning in the region.

Machi also reports US experts as saying the S-300 radar system is incapable of distinguishing between Turkish and Israeli or British warplanes, and would thus be activated every time a fighter jet took off from Israel or from the British bases.

The US officials also fear the S-300 radar system will be used by the Russians to convey information to their orbiting spy satellites, the paper said.

It added that Defence Minister Yiannakis Omirou, mindful of these concerns, had made it clear the Russians would exercise no control over the radar systems of S-300 missiles deployed by the National Guard.

Agon in a front-page story focused on the ructions behind the scenes at Diko. The party has been torn apart by leadership contentions and the paper reported that Diko parliamentary spokesman Tassos Papadopoulos was coming under increasing pressure to run for top spot. Papadopoulos has strong support within the party but has shied away from an open challenge to incumbent Spyros Kyprianou, who is loath to step down.

The party general conference is due to conclude on June 14 with a call for leadership elections, and Papadopoulos's closest aides are urging him to seize the moment - now that his popularity is high - and run for the leadership, the paper said.

Alithia carried a story about schoolyard violence, reporting that a student was being treated in hospital for concussion after a brawl at the Nicosia Technical School on Monday. A number of students were involved in the fight and the parents of the victim are considering taking legal action against the offenders, the paper reported.

The attack was apparently sparked when the victim insulted a student suffering from sickle-cell anaemia. Feeling unable to defend himself, he called in reinforcements who ganged up on his taunter.

The school headmaster said such incidents were sadly not isolated and promised the attack would be investigated, the paper said.

On a lighter note, Haravgi reported on the happy cohabitation of a parrot and a cat in a Larnaca home.

Alex the parrot and Tita the cat both have the run of the house and enjoy playing together, the paper reported. Alex had been in residence for a few months before Tita joined the household. The first meeting was explosive, the owners said, but things soon settled down and the bird and cat are now the best of friends.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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