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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-05-13

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, May 13, 1999


Job Centre



/New EU sanctions call likely to face opposition/ THE BICKERING between the government and the political parties over Cyprus' stance on the Yugoslavia crisis was set to continue with the EU demanding the imposition of a bigger package of sanctions against Belgrade.

Phileleftheros reported that the German presidency of the EU had told the Cyprus government that it should align itself with the EU decision for the imposition of more sanctions against Yugoslavia. Brussels' demand was conveyed to the foreign minister by Germany's ambassador, who made it clear that the EU decision also applied to applicant countries. Although the government has asked the advice of the Attorney-general with regard to the implementation of the sanctions, all indications are that it will align itself with the EU. The government has admitted it cannot by itself impose sanctions that require the passing of legislation, because of the pro- Serbian stance of the parties represented in the House.

Simerini reported that China had gone on the diplomatic counter-offensive, making it very clear that it had no intention to support the plan of the Group of Eight for an end to the war in Yugoslavia. This followed China's demand for an apology from the US for the attack on its embassy in Belgrade and the decision to quit negotiations with the Americans on human rights. The developments would adversely affect the efforts to find a way out of the current diplomatic deadlock. In Moscow, the view expressed by the deputy president of the Duma, Sergei Bambourit, that the deadlock would be broken if Russia helped Yugoslavia militarily, was gaining ground.

Haravghi led with Nato's insistence on continuing its attacks on Yugoslavia despite calls from Russia and China for an end to the bombing, as a pre-requisite for a peace deal. Despite the flocking of western diplomats into Moscow for talks on the future of Kosovo, Nato was stepping up its attacks. Nato chiefs were now planning to launch air attacks from Hungary and Turkey in an attempt to surround Yugoslavia militarily and isolate it politically. This would increase the pressure on President Milosevic and also destroy the remaining air defences of Yugoslavia.

Politis claimed that British and American diplomats were preparing an "attractive package" in order to persuade the Turkish Cypriots to return to the negotiating table. Informal recognition of the pseudo-state and the temporary lifting of the trade embargo would be two of the inducements included in the package, the paper said. US ambassador Kenneth Brill maintained there could be a new initiative despite Turkey's opposition to the involvement of the Group of Eight in the peace process. The paper speculated that Turkish opposition was aimed at securing more advantages for eventually agreeing to talks.

Alithia quoted Brill as saying that an end to the Kosovo crisis was not a pre- condition for a new initiative on Cyprus. However, he dismissed press reports suggesting that a settlement plan already existed. He said the US was working with the EU and interested parties to set up a "comprehensive negotiating procedure".

Machi led with a report about the Attorney-general's decision to order a disciplinary inquiry against senior counsel Akis Papasavvas. Papasavvas is being accused of showing hostility towards his superiors and refusal to obey orders.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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