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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 97-11-22

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, November 22, 1997

Talks agreed after elections

ONLY one of yesterday's newspapers failed to lead with a report about the two now standard news stories: the elections and the Cyprus problem.

Phileleftheros reported that UN envoy Diego Cordovez had secured the agreement of both sides to resume intercommunal talks after the presidential elections in February. Despite the gloomy prospects for his visit, Cordovez had been successful because he hadn't set high targets, the paper said.

The agreement constitutes a "new about-turn" by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, who had threatened to boycott talks if the European Union ratified its decision to start accession negotiations with Cyprus. Denktash said he had agreed to talks because they would be "between states".

Machi said the Cyprus government had sent a clear message to Britain and the US, which were "desperately trying to involve illegally the pseudo-state in the accession procedure".

Foreign Minister Ioannis Cassoulides was quoted as saying that the conditions set by Denktash for the Turkish Cypriots' participation in accession talks were "unacceptable". This position had been conveyed to the US and Britain.

Haravghi gave prominent coverage to Akel presidential candidate George Iacovou's meeting with British envoy Sir David Hannay. Iacovou concluded that the objective of the recent diplomatic activity by third parties was to promote Turkey's bid for EU membership.

He also concluded that there was no Cyprus initiative. The aim of the diplomatic efforts was to reduce tension so that talks could resume after the presidential elections.

Alithia led with Edek's rejection of Akel's proposal for co-operation in the presidential elections. Responding to Akel's call to Diko and Edek to back Iacovou's candidacy, Edek said this "was not an invitation but a provocation".

If Akel genuinely wanted to co-operate it would not have abandoned the 'coalition of hope', nor would it have backed a candidate who had already been rejected, Edek said. Iacovou was "conservative, lacking a vision", Edek said.

Simerini claimed that the chances of Attorney-general Alecos Markides standing in the elections had faded after the failure to forge an alliance of parties from the centre. Diko leader Spyros Kyprianou had failed in his latest attempt to convince Edek leader Dr Lyssarides to back Markides.

Agon reported that a girl at the Meneou primary school had contracted meningitis and was being treated at Larnaca general hospital. The school headmaster said this was no surprise as there were 12 to 13 cases every year.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1997

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