/ Hope at last in Belgrade
Yugoslavia's acceptance of a peace plan to end the Kosovo crisis grabbed
all the headlines in the dailies yesterday.
_ reported that US President Bill Clinton had remained cautious in his
response to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic accepting an
international peace plan for Kosovo.
Clinton had stated the bombing of Serbian positions would continue till
Serb forces began withdrawing from Kosovo, the paper reported.
Russia and Nato had not yet reached agreement on the make-up of the peace
force that would police Kosovo after the Serb forces withdrew, the paper
"Hope in Belgrade" was the headline Politis chose for its Kosovo story.
The immediate cessation of the Nato air strikes on Serbia should have been
a basic pre-condition for the peace deal to work, the paper reported. But
Nato continued the strikes unabated, only avoiding the Yugoslav capital
Belgrade in order not to jeopardise the missions of EU negotiator Martti
Ahtisaari and Russia's Balkans envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin, the paper
Left-wing Haravghi focused on a decision by the deputies of the ultra-
nationalist Serbian Radical party to leave parliament in protest at the
majority decision to accept the peace plan. "We are not about to remain in
parliament to welcome the forces of the invader and we will not accept the
withdrawal of the Yugoslav army (from Kosovo) before the bombing stops,"
the paper quoted Radical party leader Vojislav Seselj as saying.
"Peace at last" was the Simerini headline for the peace deal.
Nato would be deciding within the next few days on when to end their
bombing of Serbia, the paper suggested. The paper stated British Prime
Minister Tony Blair had adopted a "hard-line" stance on the matter,
insisting bombing would continue till there was concrete evidence that Serb
forces were being withdrawn from Kosovo. Clinton's position was identical,
the paper added.
Phileleftheros, the island's biggest selling
daily, did not give front-page space to the Kosovo peace deal. The story
was introduced with a picture on the front page and text on the inside
pages. For its lead, the paper stuck to its iron-clad rule that the Cyprus
problem comes first, reporting that European countries were moving closer
to accepting Turkey as a candidate for EU accession.
© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999