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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-07-24

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, July 24, 1998

Overflight ban and missiles

LEAD stories continued to be a mix of the S-300 missiles and British envoy Sir David Hannay's contacts in Cyprus.

Alithia reported that Britain was ready to contribute to the monitoring of a possible agreement on an overflights moratorium, which would reduce tension. Sir David said that the purchase of the S-300 missiles also contributed to raising tension.

He also said that defence build-ups should stop as a matter of priority. The other priority would be to reduce tension. He would work in this direction with the co-operation of the international community over the next few months. The cancellation of the missile deployment remained on his agenda.

Phileleftheros said that Sir David was in favour of the implementation of an overflight ban in exchange for the cancellation of the missile deployment. The moratorium would have the "strong support from the international community".

Attention now focused on the arrival of US State Department envoy Thomas Miller, who is expected to bring a comprehensive proposal regarding the flights moratorium in order to secure a cancellation of the missile deployment.

Haravghi reported that the Turkish air force was carrying out exercises on the destruction of air defence systems in Israel's Negev desert.

The exercises were part of expanding Turkey-Israel military co-operation. Turkish fighters had also participated in the 50th anniversary celebrations of the state of Israel.

Machi published a report from the European, quoting sources close to the Turkish military command, which said that the Turkish fleet had been preparing for a war lasting a few days in the Aegean Sea. The source said that the fleet had received instructions for a war with Greece "lasting one or two days".

The source said the deployment of the missiles in Cyprus would be a "genuine provocation", adding that a war could be triggered by public opinion. This was because neither the Greek nor the Cyprus government could be seen to be giving in to Turkish threats regarding the missiles.

Simerini focused on Sir David Hannay's call for a start of talks on the substance of the Cyprus issue. He said such a dialogue could take place without either side's status - a main stumbling block at present - being defined.

He did not want to take talks out of the UN framework, but insisted that defining the status of the two sides was not necessary before negotiations began.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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