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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 00-01-14

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, January 14, 2000

Opening the EU door to Denktash

ALL PAPERS led with reports about the decisions taken by the foreign ministers of Greece and Cyprus, regarding the strategy to be followed on the Cyprus issue.

Simerini reported that Athens and Nicosia would leave the EU door open to Rauf Denktash. They would allow the Turkish Cypriot side to pursue its interests within the EU. There was now a possibility that the pseudo-state would secure financial assistance from the EU. But both foreign ministers ruled out the possibility that the north would be recognised after a tour of EU capitals by Denktash. Greek foreign minister George Papandreou and the Cyprus government spokesman said that they were not opposed to Denktash=s visits to EU member countries. The Turkish Cypriot leader is expected to visit Berlin for talks, at the invitation of the German foreign ministry. Papandreou had said he would discuss the matter with his German counterpart.

Phileleftheros insisted that neither Athens nor Nicosia were happy about Germany=s invitation to Denktash. Government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou argued that the invitation might not have been such a good idea, even though Germany had acted in good faith, while negotiations were in progress. It could be construed as encouragement to Denktash to pursue recognition of his pseudo-state, he said. The paper also reported that Papandreou would request the personal involvement of European Commissioner Javier Solana in the Cyprus issue. He would be asked to monitor the peace talks, to look at ways of the EU becoming involved in issues of security in Cyprus and to promote ways that would allow the Turkish Cypriots to participate in accession talks.

Politis said this was the first time that Athens and Nicosia had prepared a specific package of proposals on ways the EU could become involved in the Cyprus peace efforts. One of the proposals was for European forces to take control of Famagusta. The government had already invited Solana to visit Cyprus, while Papandreou would hand over the package of proposals to the Commissioner. Being the EU Commissioner responsible for security, Solana would be asked to contribute his views on all issues relating to security during the peace talks, such as the reduction of troops on the island.

Haravghi gave prominence to the remarks by Akel chief Demetris Christofias after his meeting with Papandreou. Christofias said he supported a federal state consisting of two parts with a large degree of autonomy, but with a single sovereignty. Christofias said he had discussed ways by which the two communities would come closer to each other.

Alithia, quoting diplomatic sources, said that the Turkish occupying troops had not brought more tanks to Cyprus in 1999, as had been reported in one daily. The daily had claimed that the Turks had brought in 60 M48A5T2 tanks. According to the diplomatic source, Unficyp had conducted an investigation and found that no new tanks had been brought to the north.

Machi reported that Apollonas footballer Niki Papavassiliou had visited a Limassol primary school with his father and brother and allegedly attacked a schoolteacher after his seven-year-old daughter had claimed the teacher had slapped her. Papavassiliou reported the case to the police. The teacher, meanwhile, alleged that Papavassiliou had attacked him and reported the footballer to the police.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

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