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22 June, 1998
Foreign Deputy Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis yesterday criticized the United States of a policy error in basing its initiative to resolve the Cyprus issue on equal treatment of Turkish and Cypriot entry into the European Union.
"The levers for pressure (US presidential emissary on Cyprus) Richard Holbrooke is seeking to use are those of the EU. It would be good if he sought levers to exert pressure that the US have in the economic sector," Mr. Kranidiotis told the Cypriot Phileleftheros newspaper.
"Only if the US really pressures Turkey is there a chance of Ankara changing its line on the Cyprus issue ... The EU lever belongs to the EU, which is using it appropriately and effectively," Mr. Kranidiotis said in an interview.
He said that Athens and Nicosia should work hard to ensure the island republic's entry into the first wave of EU expansion.
"This is the strongest negotiating tool, and it belongs to our side," Mr. Kranidiotis said.
He also said Turkey had begun to review its strategic aims in Cyprus following the island republic's progress towards EU entry. Greece should remain in a state of readiness, but cool-headed in the face of Turkish provocation.
Mr. Holbrooke, also the newly appointed ambassador to the United Nations for the US, is due to arrive in Athens today.
Mr. Holbrooke is considering transferring his Cyprus portfolio to another official following the UN appointment, White House spokesman Mike McCurry said on Thursday.
Source: Athens News Agency