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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-02-05

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, February 05, 1999

Cassoulides raises issue of Nato force

YESTERDAY'S papers focused on two main issues: The Cabinet's announcement on the problems faced by Cyprus Airways, and the issue of a possible Nato peacekeeping force to guarantee an eventual Cyprus solution.

Simerini reported that "acrobatic dialogue" would begin on Cyprus Airways in the wake of the Cabinet announcement. The paper said the Cabinet had warned management and workers that unless they solved their differences it would be impossible to avoid the national carrier's certain financial ruin. The Cabinet said that the two sides should begin dialogue with the mediation of Communications Minister Leontios Ierodiaconou.

Alithia quoted Foreign Minister Iannakis Cassoulides as saying that after the government's decision not to deploy the S-300 missiles in Cyprus, Nato intervention was warranted.

Cassoulides was speaking in Athens on his return from Brussels, and said that the international force would help promote demilitarisation on the island. The paper quoted the foreign minister as saying that "this force can be set up even before there is a solution to the Cyprus problem. It would have to be deployed by the UN Security Council and with Turkey's consent."

Phileleftheros continued along similar lines, saying that, although the issue of deploying a Nato force in Cyprus had first been suggested years ago, the issue had been brought back to the forefront after the decision not to deploy the Russian-made S-300 missiles in Cyprus. The paper continued quoting Cassoulides as saying that the Cyprus government was willing to underwrite the expenses of deploying an international force on the island.

Machi said that Cassoulides would make an official request for a Nato force on the island in Washington on February 17. The paper said that the suggestion would be made during Cassoulides' meeting with his US counterpart Madeleine Albright. Machi added that this opinion had recently been supported in statements by the Council of Europe's special rapporteur on Cyprus, Andras Barsony.

Akel mouthpiece Haravghi focused on a completely different story. Front page attention was given to the Cyprus Barometer survey, which showed that Cypriots were divided about the island's EU accession prospects.

Carried out by an independent research company on behalf of the Popular Bank, Haravghi said the study showed that the people saw the government as being "backward".

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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