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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-01-14

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, January 14, 1999

Pangalos: missile order was wrong

THE PAPERS yesterday remained focused on the decision not to bring the S- 300 missiles to Cyprus and UN permanent representative to Cyprus Dame Ann Hercus' meetings with President Glafcos Clerides, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and other international contacts.

Haravghi ran the headline, "Theodoros Pangalos: 'Purchasing the S-300s was wrong'" The paper said that the Greek Foreign Minister made his opinion known during a television interview on a private Greek television station.

According to Haravghi, Pangalos put the blame for the decision both on Athens and Nicosia. He continued that the missiles were not necessary in Cyprus but that Crete could make good use of them.

According to the newspaper, Pangalos gave three reasons for his opinion, with the first claiming that the missiles would upset the balance of military power. He continued that Cyprus' progress in accession talks with the EU should also have been taken into account. Finally, he said that Cyprus should have demonstrated its seriousness in proposing demilitarisation by never ordering the missiles in the first place.

Simerini said that "the government officially admitted through government spokesman Christos Stylianides that the decision not to bring the missiles was made without getting anything in exchange or the fulfilling of the requirements put forward by Clerides." The report continued with Stylianides saying that the decision had been a painful one, but that a more positive attitude towards Cyprus had been created overseas because of it.

Phileleftheros said that Britain's special envoy to Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, was expected to come to Cyprus next week and that Hercus was going to New York.

The paper continued that Hercus would be meeting with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in New York after stopping in London and seeing British Foreign Minister Robin Cook.

Phileleftheros added that attention has now been put on security, land and the constitution. It said that while Nicosia agrees with this logic Denktash, remains adamant on his former positions.

Alithia headlined "Hercus wants help from Annan and Cook."

The paper continued that Hercus' shuttle talks had reached a dead-end. While commenting on the talks, Stylianides repeated a former comment by Clerides saying, "no procedure can go on forever."

Machi, meanwhile, stood out by leading with a story quoting Edek president Vassos Lyssarides as saying, "Something inside me has snapped." Edek withdrew from the government after Clerides' decision not to bring the missiles. Since then, socialist Edek has been drawn towards an alliance with communist Akel, despite what Machi called "strong reactions," from within Edek.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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