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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-09-01

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Tuesday, September 01, 1998

Simitis abandoning Cyprus?

A REPORT in an Athens newspaper, suggesting that the government of Greece was making efforts to distance itself from it obligations in Cyprus, was given prominence.

Haravghi said that Greece was considering the linking of Cyprus with Nato as well as the replacement of the Unified Defence Dogma with a conventional military agreement. This would be a way out from the problems caused by the purchase of the S-300 missiles.

Prime Minister Costas Simitis' ultimate objective was to free Greece from the obligation of declaring war in the event of a Turkish attack on Cyprus. The issue of linking Cyprus to Nato would be one of the priorities of US envoy Thomas Miller during his forthcoming visit to Athens.

Simerini took a more disapproving view of the report, saying that Simitis was promoting "dangerous ideas". It said that with the Nato link, Simitis hoped, ostensibly, to solve the issue of Cyprus' security. With the military agreement, a Greco-Turkish war would be avoided in the event of a Turkish strike on Cyprus.

The paper also noted that the joint communiqué, issued after last week's meeting between Simitis and President Clerides, made no reference to the fact that a Turkish attack on Cyprus would be a casus belli. This, coupled with the report, made clear the intentions of the Simitis government, the paper said.

Phileleftheros announced that the government had embarked on a diplomatic campaign aimed at changing the heavy climate created by the missile talk and presenting the Cyprus problem as one of invasion and occupation. Work in this direction had begun on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned summit in South Africa.

At the summit, Clerides would try to see UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in order to persuade him to undertake a new initiative on Cyprus. Clerides wants a resumption of the intercommunal talks or at least a start of the dialogue on demilitarisation.

Alithia reported that an urgent meeting would be held in Limassol to discuss ways of dealing with the town's soaring crime. The meeting at police headquarters had been called by Minister of Justice Nicos Koshis, who had admitted that police had failed to clamp down on the underworld.

The police is convinced that the attempts on the lives of Soteris Athinis, brother of a murdered cabaret owner, at the weekend, and Charalambos Lemis on August 17 had been carried out by the same underworld gang, the paper said.

To Tharros, revealed a "satanic plot" by the Turkish secret service MIT to infiltrate the free areas with 5,000 illegal immigrants. Most of the immigrants would, allegedly, be specially trained MIT agents.

The authorities, aware of this plot, were considering the setting up of a "special concentration camp", at which all illegal immigrants would be held.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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