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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-11-09

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Tuesday, November 09, 1999

Speculation ahead of Clinton visit

SPECULATIVE reports about the USA's next move in the Cyprus peace efforts in view of President Clinton's forthcoming visits to Greece and Turkey featured on several front pages yesterday.

Alithia reported that US presidential envoy Alfred Moses would arrive in Athens a couple of days before Clinton in order to prepare the part of the agenda relating to the Cyprus problem for the president's meeting with Prime Minister Costas Simitis. Although Moses' early arrival had not been confirmed, it was a certainty, the paper said.

Moses would see Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who had agreed with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, during a recent visit to the US, that Cyprus and Greco-Turkish relations would be at the top of the agenda of Simitis-Clinton talks. Meanwhile the Athens papers had predicted that Clinton would announce the resumption of Cyprus talks during his visit.

Phileleftheros claimed that Washington had arrived had arrived at a Avery specific framework for a Cyprus settlement, which satisfies some demands of both sides. During Clinton's visit to Athens, intense pressure will be applied towards a very specific direction. The same is expected to happen when Clinton visits Ankara a few days later.

The Greek government has been informally briefed about these US ideas, which, it was understood, put Athens and Nicosia before big and difficult dilemmas, because the settlement framework being promoted by the US was of confederal specifications. There was nothing to worry about at present, thanks to the A totally negative stance of the Turkish side, the paper said.

Haravghi, under the headline A Trap made in USA, claimed the US was trying to corner the Greek side with regard to the according of EU candidate status to Turkey. As part of this plan, the US would secure the resumption of intercommunal negotiations and encourage statements by Turkish officials that would facilitate the granting of candidate status.

According to reliable sources, the Americans were pursuing their objective step by step, without putting any pressure on the Turkish government. Clinton would announce the resumption of talks while in Ankara, and the UN Secretary-general would send out invitations to the two sides.

Simerini reported that diplomatic haggling was taking place in Paris between the Greek and French governments on three issues: Cyprus' EU accession course, Greek-Turkish relations and Turkey's relations with the EU. The haggling would reach its climax today, when Simitis meets President Jacques Chirac.

The meeting was very important as France has taken a lead in making the settlement of the Cyprus problem a condition of the island's entry into the EU. Greece, which has still not given its consent to Turkey's candidate status, will demand that this condition is lifted if it is to do so.

Politis criticised the government practice of giving extensions to the service of senior public servants who had reached retirement age. At a time when unemployment was becoming a problem, the government was persisting with a practice that restricted the employment opportunities of young people.

The notorious extensions meant that many public service positions were not being vacated when they should have been. The paper listed the names of all the public servants who had benefited from this practice. In some cases, public servants who had retired had been hired by the government on a contractual basis. The public servants union Pasidy has been demanding that these practices stop.

To Tharros reported how the former Education Minister Claire Angelides had been stopped from informing relatives of missing persons who were known to be dead. Government investigations had found evidence to suggest that 126 of the men listed as missing were actually dead. Angelides was given the responsibility of informing the relatives, but was stopped from doing so by Father Christoforos, the president of the Committee of Relatives of the Missing.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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