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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-05-16

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, May 16, 1998

Talk hopes pinned on Cardiff

THE CYPRUS problem continued to dominate the front pages as speculation grew over the next US peace move.

Alithia reported that political movement, as well as the deployment of the S-300 missiles, would depend on the forthcoming EU summit in Cardiff where efforts would be made to modify the Luxembourg decision that ruled out EU membership for Turkey.

The US would attempt to convince Germany to agree to Turkey's inclusion in the group of 11 countries eligible for accession, but under a different status from the rest. This would satisfy Ankara, which would then encourage Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to enter talks without setting conditions.

Haravghi said the strong local reaction to the "unacceptable statements" made by US envoy Richard Holbrooke and the "mistakes" committed by State Department officials when referring to Cyprus had forced a US retreat for "tactical reasons". Comments by the US ambassador confirmed this view, the paper said.

US aims included keeping the peace initiative alive and preventing a discussion of the Cyprus problem at the Security Council, it said. At the same time Britain, in co-operation with the US, was preparing formulas to facilitate Turkey's EU drive.

Phileleftheros gave more details about the package being prepared by Britain, which, if deemed satisfactory by Turkey, would open the way for a resumption of Cyprus talks. Britain would suggest an improvement in the wording of the Luxembourg decision about Turkey's EU membership prospects.

The proposal would be at the centre of discussions that British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook will have in Ankara next week. Cook will be accompanied by Sir David Hannay.

Machi said the US had accepted the proposal by Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos for a flight exclusion zone over Cyprus, which would render the deployment of the S-300 missiles unnecessary. This showed that the US was only interested in preventing the arrival of the missiles, the paper concluded.

Simerini reported that an Israeli chemical factory was dumping toxic waste into the Mediterranean Sea, 40 miles south of the Cyprus coast. Greenpeace director Mario Damato told Sigma TV that the waste, from a factory in Haifa, contained "metals and other dangerous substances which caused great damage".

The problem was that many Mediterranean countries, including Israel and Cyprus, had not signed the Barcelona agreement, which prohibits the dumping of waste at sea.

Agon reported that there was chaos at post offices after the May 4 decision by workers to implement an overtime ban. Some one million letters and parcels are piled up at the central post office and the mound is growing bigger by the day, the paper said.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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