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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-07-30

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, July 30, 1998

Greece and Cyprus on retreat

GREECE-US relations and the S-300 missiles continued to dominate the front pages yesterday.

Phileleftheros said that the war of words between Greece and the US over Cyprus had overshadowed the fact that US envoy Thomas Miller, during last week's visit, had brought ideas about the missiles with good prospects of success. It quoted Athens press reports, suggesting that Miller had submitted ideas which were deemed satisfactory by President Clerides.

Clerides' satisfaction, the paper said, was not so much with the actual ideas, but with the fact that Washington was prepared to consider the proposal for a flight exclusion zone. Much will depend on Ankara's reaction to the proposal. Miller is due to visit Turkey next month.

Alithia reported that Nicosia and Athens were on the retreat, regarding the war of words with Washington, in a clear attempt to improve relations. The Cyprus government's line was that there was no crisis in relations with the US despite bitterness over the comments made by US officials about the invasion.

Government spokesman Christos Stylianides underlined the fact that both Athens and Nicosia had asked for a continuation of the US initiative on Cyprus.

Machi reported that the deployment of the S-300 missiles was the main issue discussed in Athens by Prime Minister Costas Simitis and his Foreign and Defence Ministers. According to the information of the two ministries, presented to Simitis, Turkey was determined to "react strongly" if the missiles were deployed.

However, unnamed sources told the paper that the consensus was that neither Greece nor Cyprus could retreat on the issue of the missiles except if there was an agreement on demilitarisation.

Haravghi quoted Akel leader Demetris Christofias calling for a an in- depth assessment of the current situation cause by the missile purchase. The National Council had never discussed the consequences and implications of the purchase, said Christofias.

According to reliable information the US had "attached dimensions of geo- strategic importance to the S-300 purchase", linking it to a range of other regional matters.

Simerini reported that the Bishop of Limassol Chrysanthos, whose business dealings were being investigated by police, had been negotiating the purchase of a "super-luxury yacht" recently.

The yacht, worth many thousands of pounds, belonged to a Limassol businessman. An American Evangelical bishop was also present at the negotiations, the paper said.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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