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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-02-04

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, February 04, 1999

Denktash letter 'diverted' in New York

ALLEGED scandals at UN headquarters in New York, "galloping" unemployment and reported changes in US personnel working on the Cyprus issue were among the more interesting stories in yesterday's dailies.

Simerini reported on what it described as a "diplomatic scandal" at the UN Security Council.

A letter sent by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to UN Secretary general Kofi Annan had been diverted by a top officer of the UN in New York, the paper claimed. Denktash's letter questioned the shuttle talks procedure conducted by the UN's permanent representative to Cyprus, Dame Ann Hercus, the paper said. Denktash also demanded that a non-aggression agreement be signed between the two sides on the island and supported demilitarisation after a solution, Simerini said.

Left-wing Haravghi reported that unemployment in Cyprus had reached the five per cent level. Official estimates of 3.4 per cent were well off the mark, the paper said, quoting workers' union Peo.

Alithia reported that US Ambassador to Nicosia Kenneth Brill was to be transferred off the island and replaced by Donald Butler, who currently serves on the US National Security Council.

The paper also focused on a House education committee session on the state of school canteens. A probe by the responsible government department had found many canteens were dirty and sold spoilt foods at exorbitant prices, the paper reported.

Machi reported that Clerides had vowed he would not bow to pressure from Israel to release early two Israelis jailed on Monday for "approaching a prohibited zone." The President denied Cyprus had watered down the charges against the Israeli agents - who had originally been charged with spying against the National Guard. What Israel had wanted was not for the charges to be reduced but for the two suspects not to appear before a court, Clerides was quoted as saying. And the two agents did appear before a court, the President added.

Phileleftheros reported that Israel was expected to make moves towards securing the two agents' release after the country's elections in April.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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