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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-02-16

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Tuesday, February 16, 1999

Cyprus Problem hogs the limelight again

The Cyprus Problem was back on the front pages yesterday, with two 'exclusives' in the front line of the day's coverage.

To Tharros reported a "Turkish threat to Greece and Cyprus." The paper said that a Greek secret services investigation had revealed that Turkey had chemical and biological weapons, as well as nuclear weapons at its disposal.

To Tharros said that, according to the secret services report, new threats were soon expected from Turkey, warning of this fearsome capability.

The second 'exclusive' appeared on the front page of Simerini. It said that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had been "officially forgiven" by the UN Security Council. Simerini continued that "absolution" had been given to Denktash because "Washington and London refuse to hold Denktash responsible for the interruption of dialogue."

Denktash walked out of talks with the Greek Cypriot side in summer 1997.

Phileleftheros said that Greece was "decisively" moving towards getting its EU partners' commitment in helping to solve the Cyprus problem. The paper said that Greece's deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Kranidiotis had told them that the issue would be brought up during forthcoming contacts with its fellow EU members.

Phileleftheros also gave attention to Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides' response to a survey taken out by the newspaper to find out what the public thinks about how to solve the Cyprus Problem. The probe revealed that the average Cypriot was pessimistic with regards to the problem ever being solved. Cassoulides told Phileleftheros that the response was expected under the circumstances. He said that if the Turkish attitude had been different, Greek Cypriots might be more optimistic.

Haravghi focused its attention on a London meeting of left-wing parties from Cyprus, Greece and Turkey on possible solutions to the Cyprus Problem. The paper said that the two-day conference's general consensus was for the promotion of a peaceful solution based on UN resolutions and on the high level talks in 1977 between late Cyprus President Archbishop Makarios, Denktash and current House president Spyros Kyprianou.

Alithia concentrated on the official enthroning of the new Bishop of Limassol Athanasios. The paper noted that "half the Holy Synod was missing". The paper said that the absence of the four members, including the Bishops of Paphos and Kyrenia, troubled the Archbishop. Their decision not to attend has been attributed to their conviction that Athanasios is guilty of immoral actions. The Holy Synod recently cleared Athanasios after Paphos Bishop Chrysostomos made allegations about his mentor, elder Iosif. Iosif was accused of sexually assaulting young nuns 17 years ago. The Holy Synod did, however, endorse Chrysostomos' claims against Iosif.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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