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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 97-12-20

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, December 20, 1997

Meeting raises alliance hopes

THE SECRET morning meeting between Diko leader Spyros Kyprianou and President Clerides gave rise to hopes among the pro-government papers that differences between the two will be bridged before the elections.

Alithia said that, although nothing specific emerged about a new alliance, the meeting was step towards the improvement of the relationship between the two. The meeting went well after a nervous start, the paper said.

It added that the discussion focused on issues of principles, political positions and ways of making a new alliance work if the two eventually reached an agreement.

Machi waxed lyrical about the meeting, saying that Clerides and Kyprianou had accepted their "historical responsibilities at these critical times" and had heeded the calls for unity from members of their parties.

According to "absolutely reliable information", the ice had melted between the two men, who were to meet again in order to finalise their electoral co- operation.

Simerini gave a different version of events. It said that the results of the efforts to bridge the differences between Disy and Diko were not very encouraging, but some hopes remained as some windows of co- operation remained open.

To discuss a new co-operation, Kyprianou demanded a commitment from Clerides that decisions about the Cyprus problem would be taken jointly. While Clerides was very sceptical about this demand he did not reject it, the paper said.

Agon reported that Kyprianou had informed high-ranking members of his party that he would not be a presidential candidate. Many of them insisted that Kyprianou should stand because this was the only way of keeping Diko united.

Haravghi claimed that the Ministry of Justice and Public Order had not allowed Akel-backed candidate George Iacovou to enter Larnaca police headquarters and speak to policemen. Iacovou condemned this action which he said was unprecedented.

Phileleftheros reported that France and Britain were trying to alter the spirit of the decision of the EU Luxembourg summit, which referred to the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in EU accession talks.

The two permanent members of the UN Security Council want to include a paragraph in a resolution about Unficyp, supporting the participation of the "two communities" in accession talks, without any reference being made to the Cyprus government. Diplomatic observers said that this was an attempt to appease Ankara, after Turkey's strong reaction to the Luxembourg decision.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1997

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