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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 00-01-20

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, January 20, 2000

Cyprus to top agenda in Ankara talks

MOST of yesterday=s paper reported that the Cyprus issue would be on the top of the agenda of the talks that Greece=s Foreign Minister George Papandreou would have during his visit to Ankara.

Alithia said that Papandreou=s visit to Turkey was a Alandmark for the Cyprus issue@ as it would top the agenda of discussion he would have with the entire Turkish political leadership. Papandreou is expected to seek Ain-depth discussion about all the aspects the Cyprus problem, and especially those concerning the two guarantor powers@. Papandreou=s talks would not be restricted to an inter-governmental level as he will have meetings President Demirel and Prime Minister Ecevit as well as the speaker of the National Assembly. During his trip, five commercial agreements will be signed. Another five will be signed when his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem visited Athens.

Politis said intensive efforts were under way to ensure a thaw in relations between Greece and Turkey that would bring the two countries closer together. The spark was given by the announcement of the agreement for simultaneous repair work at Apostolos Andreas monastery in the occupied Karpas and the Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca. This would be followed by today=s signing of an agreement on the Adogma of a unified tourism space@ between the foreign ministers of Turkey and Greece. AThe strings for these moves are being pulled by the US@, and more agreements are expected. The paper cited a question by a Turkish journalist, who asked: AHow much has the climate been cultivated so that Turks and Greeks in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus can become involved in the friendship proceedings?@

Haravghi said that Athens was expecting specific moves from Turkey on Cyprus during Papandreou=s visit. Papandreou would ask Turkey to abandon its intransigent positions on Cyprus and to wield its influence in order to persuade Rauf Denktash to allow contacts between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. In another report, the paper said it was strange that the government had backed Minister of Agriculture Costas Themistocleous who had expressed support for a confederation along the lines of the Swiss constitution. It noted that a year ago President Clerides had protested, in writing, to the British High Commissioner because Britain=s envoy Sir David Hannay had suggested that the Cyprus constitution should be modeled on that of Switzerland

Phileleftheros said that the strained relations between Spyros Kyprianou and the Greek government, after the House speaker=s criticism of Athens= handling of the Cyprus issue, did not look like easing. In a written statement from his sickbed in the US, Kyprianou insisted that we were heading for the completion of the plot against Cyprus that had begun with the coup and invasion in 1974. Meanwhile, Edek leader Dr Vassos Lyssarides was to meet President Clerides to voice his objections about the Aslip-ups@ committed by the Greek side at the proximity talks and to demand corrective measures.

Simerini said that the House would investigate the blunders made with regard to the construction of a new building for the House of Representatives. Some four million pounds were wasted on plans for the construction before this was finally abandoned because of the unsuitability of the site chosen. The House, acting after complaints by the chairman of the Technical Chamber wants to establish who was responsible for the squandering of public money.

Machi said that Diko leader Spyros Kyprianou=s public support for the candidacy of Tassos Papadopoulos in the 2003 presidential elections had torpedoed the wish of the Akel leader Demetris Christofias to stand. Christofias was hoping to have Diko support in the event that he decided to be a presidential candidate.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

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