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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-06-05

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


Saturday, June 05, 1999

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/ 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.

_Alithia

_ 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 added.

"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 reported.

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stance on the matter, insisting bombing would continue till there was concrete evidence that Serb forces were being withdrawn from Kosovo.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

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