/US tries to appease China/ CHINA'S reaction to the bombing of its embassy
in Belgrade continued to attract front-page headlines as did Yugoslavia's
offer for a partial withdrawal from Kosovo. The papers also covered the row
between the Cyprus government and opposition parties who had slammed the
decision to impose an oil embargo against Yugoslavia.
reported that Beijing was demanding an apology from Nato and the punishment
of those responsible for the attack on the embassy building. The demand was
made by the Chinese foreign minister to US ambassador in Beijing James
Sasser. China also called for an "in-depth inquiry" into the attack and
publication of the findings.
claimed that the US government was making frenzied efforts to appease China,
which was outraged by the attack. The strong reaction of the Chinese
government, which has suspended negotiations with Washington on a number of
issues, signalled the countdown to the end of the bombings, according to
led with the news that some Yugoslav troops and security forces had
withdrawn from Kosovo, after destroying all the fortifications set up by
the Kosovo Liberation Army. However, the number of men withdrawn was
unknown. No-one could say whether there had been a withdrawal or whether
its announcement was a diplomatic move by President Milosevic.
gave prominence to the Cyprus government's defence of its policy on
Yugoslavia. It quoted Foreign Minister Ioannis Cassoulides as saying that
Europe's socialist and social democratic parties, as well as the majority
of non-aligned countries had backed the EU position on Kosovo. Meanwhile
the government spokesman accused the Cyprus media of showing partiality as
they did not give adequate coverage to the ethnic cleansing of ethnic
in a front-page editorial, accused the government of attempting to justify
"the terrible crimes" committed by Nato; it accused Cassoulides of acting
like the Nato spokesman. Cassoulides' repeated reference to the ethnic
cleansing was an attempt to deflect attention from the real issue, which
was the "barbaric, murderous Nato bombings of Yugoslavia".
claimed that the UN Under-secretary general Kieran Prendergast had
mentioned the word 'confederation' with regard to a Cyprus settlement, in
order to test the reaction. Prendergast had said that while European
governments spoke of a federation, what they really meant was a
confederation. The Cyprus government was very concerned about the statement,
but was keeping its cards close to its chest.
Machi reported that
the government would take important decisions today about its oil policies.
It will have to decide the level of oil reserves, storage and what to do
about the refinery. Consultants were expected to prepare reports on all
aspects of the matter. As things are today, oil reserves cannot be
increased because of a lack of storage facilities.
© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999