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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 97-11-13

Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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


Thursday, November 13, 1997

Holbrooke turns attention to Ankara

MOST newspapers saw the comments made by US presidential envoy Richard Holbrooke, after his meeting with President Clerides and Rauf Denktash, as another confirmation of the widely-held view that the differences between the two sides were unbridgeable.

Alithia was the only exception, giving a positive veneer to its report by saying that Holbrooke's meeting with the two leaders, "signalled the start of the much-talked about, significant initiative in Cyprus by the United States".

The four-hour meeting had been shrouded in secrecy, and both leaders had undertaken not to make any statements. The paper said the US initiative would "be intensified", irrespective of the presidential elections and cited Holbrooke's remark that he would be seen more often in the region as evidence.

Machi, under the headline "He came, he listened and he went to Ankara", said that Holbrooke's meetings with Turkey's political leadership would be of critical importance for the initiative.

It said that the absence of even a routine statement, by which the two leaders would commit themselves to a continuation of the talks, and Holbrooke's decision to fly on to Ankara, proved that the Turkish positions "left no room for optimism".

Agon also sounded a pessimistic note, reporting that "unbridgeable differences" existed in the positions of the two sides with regard to sovereignty and the return of displaced persons.

Phileleftheros said that Holbrooke's decision to fly on to Ankara for meetings with the prime minister, foreign minister and deputy president after his Cyprus visit had produced no results, came as a surprise. His second visit to Turkey in a month showed that when Denktash was not providing him with the answers he wanted, Holbrooke would continue "knocking on Ankara's door".

Unconfirmed information suggested that, during his four-hour meeting, Holbrooke had suggested ways of improving Turkey's relations with the EU in exchange for the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus' EU accession negotiations.

Simerini, in a front-page editorial, argued that Holbrooke did not come to Cyprus to get a better understanding of the Cyprus problem. He had come to prepare the ground for the search of a settlement which would "primarily serve US interests".

It suggested that Holbrooke had put both Clerides and Denktash under pressure. After the four-hour meeting, the two leaders "did not look very happy", the paper said.

Haravghi reported that Diko leader Spyros Kyprianou had turned down a request by Disy leader Nicos Anastassiades for Diko to stop discussing the possible backing of Attorney-general Alekos Markides in the presidential elections.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1997

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