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13 March, 1999
Athens has not changed its mind about installing the Russian S-300 missile system on Crete despite Ankara's annoyance, the government said yesterday.
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas attributed comments from Ankara about the missiles to the pre-election period in the neighboring country and said these comments only served to increase the tension between the two countries.
Ankara has expressed displeasure at the decision by Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides, with Athens' agreement, that led to the missile system being projected for Crete.
"It is a matter of time," Mr. Reppas said when asked if the government had changed its mind about playing host to the missile system.
According to an ANA dispatch from Nicosia, the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles will be transported to Crete in mid-1999.
Mr. Reppas said the government did not believe that a clash between Greece and Turkey was imminent and denied that US special coordinator on Cyprus Thomas Miller had suggested a summit meeting between the Greek premier and Turkish president during his talks in Athens on Thursday.
Source: Athens News Agency