Secretary of State Madeleine Albright yesterday praised the government of Cyprus for its decision early last month to forego deploying Russian-made S-300 air defense missiles on Cyprus. Her remarks followed talks in Washington with visiting Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Cassoulides. Albright characterized the Cypriot decision as “courageous,” and suggested that it opened new opportunities for the international community to resolve tensions on the island nation.
Cassoulides, in turn, said that his meeting with Albright was “very useful.” Echoing the U.S. secretary of state, he also said that the Cypriot government’s decision not to deploy the S-300s would give the Clinton administration an opportunity to take a “more convincing” approach to Turkey on the question of mediating the island’s future (Reuters, AP, February 17).
MISSILE SALE WORSENED TENSIONS AROUND CYPRUS.