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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-09-26

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cynews.com/>


Saturday, September 26, 1998

New US initiative shaping up

THE SHAPING of a new diplomatic initiative to get Cyprus peace efforts off the ground was reported yesterday.

Phileleftheros reported from New York that the US was toying with the idea of a round of 'secret talks or contacts' that would by-pass the obstacle set up by Rauf Denktash's proposal for a confederation.

The Cyprus government was in favour of "routine diplomatic contacts" that would be of a confidential nature. The Turkish side's position on this was not known.

The US had also suggested the holding of a new round of proximity talks which the Cyprus government opposed as this process would be of an official nature. Given the Turkish proposals for a confederation, the government wanted to avoid a process that would be regarded as official.

Alithia reported that a US initiative, which aimed at dealing with security issues first, so as to reduce tension, before moving on to the substance of the Cyprus problem, had been unfolding in New York. It was unknown if the initiative had been positively received.

The paper reported that there had been no progress in the efforts as US envoy Richard Holbrooke had been unable to secure anything positive during his meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem.

State Department envoy, Thomas Miller, did not hold out any hopes of a breakthrough, but spoke of "secret meetings" and "unconventional approaches" with regard to the peace efforts.

Machi continued with its allegations about the existence of a "hit-list" of politicians who had helped in the re-election of President Clerides. It claimed that the hit-list, compiled by a group of "conspirators", the spokesman of which was Christos Pourgourides, was now targeting presidential under-secretary, Pantelis Kouros.

It noted that Pourgourides had said he was collecting information involving high-ranking officials as well as a second minister.

Haravghi said that despite the official start of the investigation into corruption allegations, the man at the centre of the controversy - Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides - was still refusing to resign.

All of a sudden, Michaelides had remembered his accuser Pourgourides' activities in 1974. This was a clear attempt to "politicise and personalise the issue, in order to deflect public attention from the substance of the accusations he is facing".

Simerini led with a report about the resignation en masse of the top brass of Greece's police force after the botched attempt to free three hostages held in an Athens apartment had ended in a bloodbath.

The paper said that Minister of Public Order Giorgos Romeos had also submitted his resignation, but it was not accepted by the Prime Minister.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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