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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-09-05

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, September 05, 1998

New UN initiative round the corner?

SPECULATION that the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan would undertake an initiative on Cyprus was the lead story in most newspapers.

Phileleftheros said that President Clerides had asked Annan during their meeting in South Africa to undertake a personal initiative, either on the substance of the Cyprus problem or on demilitarisation. Annan had undertaken to study the matter. A response was expected later in the month.

Western diplomatic sources said that the United States favoured a UN initiative on the substance on the Cyprus issue, but was against one on security matters. However, the US would make a UN initiative, conditional on the cancellation of the missile deployment.

Simerini reported that Annan intended to carry out a re-evaluation of the Cyprus issue with his colleagues. He did not explain what he meant by 're- evaluation'. Clerides said that he would discuss the Cyprus issue with Annan again during the UN General Assembly meeting later this month.

Political observers noted that the US was behind the diplomatic initiative on Cyprus, which would unfold in New York in a couple of weeks. The US was working on a proposal that would be a compromise between Rauf Denktash's demand for a confederation and the bizonal federation referred to in UN resolutions.

Haravghi concentrated on Annan's response to questions about Rauf Denktash's proposal for the setting up of a confederation. He noted that the Security Council had given a negative answer to Denktash in the past and that this was the position of the UN.

The paper also reported that Russia opposed Denktash's proposal as it contravened Security Council resolutions.

Alithia reported that if the members of the board of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), who had sanctioned the purchase of an over- priced plot of land from the Limassol Bishopric, did not resign by Monday, they would be sacked by Commerce and Industry Minister Nicos Rolandis.

The minister's intention had been conveyed to board members after the following revelations about the purchase: the Land Registry Department had estimated the value of the plot at 610,000 less than the price it had been sold for; the tenders procedure was followed in such a way as to ensure that the Church plot was bought.

Machi reported that relations between Rolandis and the EAC board had deteriorated after the minister had asked for a second evaluation of the plot that was sold.

It said Rolandis was annoyed that a second tender procedure was ordered by the EAC because the Limassol Bishopric had missed the deadline for the first and its offer would have been ineligible for consideration.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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