/ Window of opportunity for Cyprus
SECRETARY of State Madeleine Albright's comment that there was a "window of
opportunity" for a Cyprus settlement in a press interview published on
Sunday was given prominence yesterday.
_ reported that Albright had "consciously" chosen to give the interview, at
the same time, to one Greek (Kathimerini) and one Turkish (Milliyet)
newspaper. She hoped it would be realised that there was a "window of
opportunity", thanks to the improvement of Greece-Turkey relations and the
interest of the international community.
Albright also said that President Clinton had shown a personal interest in
the peace efforts, which were a "priority issue" for the United States.
Talks should take place under the auspices of the UN and no conditions
should be set beforehand, she said. There were many peace methods that had
been used in other complex and long-drawn out divisions, which could be
applied in Cyprus.
_ underlined the fact that Albright had called on Turkey to co-operate with
the Turkish Cypriots so they could realise the importance of the need for
substantive negotiations. She said that the improvement in Greece-Turkey
relations had begun before the earthquakes, but had acquired a new dynamic
The Secretary of State also asked Greece to help so that Turkey would be
given the status of an EU candidate at December's EU summit in Helsinki.
She did not rule out the possibility of Clinton meeting with the prime
ministers of Greece and Turkey to help them resolve their countries'
Politis' banner headline said that "Cyprus
time has arrived", and it noted that the US was "ready for an involvement"
in the peace efforts. The paper said that despite Albright's comments,
Turkey's foreign minister Ismail Cem "appeared intransigent when speaking
before the UN General Assembly".
Cem repeated Turkey's hardline position on confederation, saying that this
could be the only basis for a viable and lasting settlement.
_ reported that Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit "holds the key that
will open the door for the new initiative on Cyprus". Ecevit is to meet
Clinton today and, according to US sources, Cyprus will be at the top of
the agenda of their White House talks. Clinton will ask Ecevit for his co-
operation so that Cyprus talks would be constructive.
On his departure from Ankara, Ecevit avoided mentioning that the Cyprus
problem would be discussed with Clinton. Asked for a comment, he said he
did not expect any pressure from the US. Informed sources believe that the
only commitment Ecevit would be prepared to make would be for Rauf Denktash
to accept an invitation to talks from the UN.
_ reported that the Stock Exchange Council was investigating the
possibility that certain stockbrokers had committed criminal and
disciplinary offences after receiving complaints and examining documents
submitted by certain brokerage firms and public companies.
Some stockbrokers had been selling investors "hot air", the paper claimed.
It said there were cases of investors paying for shares, but there was no
record of ownership to be found. This was the main offence identified in
most of the documents submitted by the brokerages to the Stock Exchange.
_ claimed that unemployment figures were rising fast, with 4.6 per cent of
the active population claiming unemployment benefit in the first seven
months of the year. The figures were included in a report prepared by the
Social Insurance fund, which had to fork out 15.3 million pounds in
unemployment benefits during the above-mentioned period.
The number of those taking unemployment benefit was significantly higher
than the number of jobless, officially given by the Ministry of Labour as
3.6 per cent, the paper said.
© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999