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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-05-20

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, May 20, 1998

Clinton urges peace package

THE LATEST twists in the Cyprus peace efforts as well as the ongoing saga of the S-300 missiles continued to dominate the front pages.

A couple of papers led with a report on President Clinton's press conference in Britain, at which he said that a Cyprus solution had to be part of a package that also resolved Greece-Turkey-EU differences.

Alithia quoted Clinton as saying, after a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair, that the Cyprus problem could not be resolved by isolating it from the differences between Turkey, Greece and the EU.

Cyprus, the Aegean dispute and Turkey's relations with the EU should all be tackled simultaneously, said Clinton. He added that "difficult decisions from Greeks and Turks" would be demanded, but these would be supported by the US and the EU.

Simerini led with the same story, emphasising Clinton's belief in an "honest solution" of all these problems, which kept "two genuine allies (Greece and Turkey)" in confrontation. This deprived them of the ability to devote their energies to development under peaceful conditions, he said.

Clinton also called for the road that would bring Turkey closer to the EU to be opened. Blair agreed, saying Britain was giving special emphasis to the improvement of Turkey's relations with the EU.

Phileleftheros claimed that Britain's attempt to secure an improvement in Turkey-EU relations, which was a pre-requisite for ending the Cyprus deadlock, had hit "serious obstacles".

One such obstacle was Turkey's refusal to accept Greece's demand that the dispute over the Aegean island of Imiabe be referred to the International Court in The Hague. This was Greece's condition for lifting its veto on EU financial assistance to Turkey. The other obstacle was Germany's opposition to granting Turkey an improved accession relationship with the EU over the one agreed in Luxembourg.

Agon reported that British interest in the Cyprus peace efforts had been revived. Britain had sat back and allowed the US to handle the peace efforts because it had the EU presidency to worry about as well as improving Turkey-EU relations.

Machi led once again with the issue of the S-300 missiles, reporting that there was "a flurry of diplomatic activity in the last few days" aimed at preventing their delivery.

Turkey's Chief of Staff, General Karadayi, who is on a four-day visit to Moscow, would demand that Russia cancel the missile contract with Cyprus, it reported.

Haravghi claimed that the US had intensified its efforts at all levels to prevent the deployment of the missiles in Cyprus. State Department official Thomas Miller, US envoy Richard Holbrooke and US ambassador to Cyprus Kenneth Brill, were all putting pressure on the Cyprus government, it said.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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