Cyprus Tension Mounts

From the July 1998 Trumpet Print Edition

With Russia’s delivery of S-300 missiles to Cyprus only a few months away, western intelligence services claim that, apart from concern that this will prove a catalyst for war between the Greek Cypriots and Turkey, the missiles come complete with a highly sophisticated radar system. western sources imply that the system could allow not only the Turks, but even more worrying, the Russian suppliers of the equipment, to spy on U.S. and UK Air Force movements in the highly sensitive Gulf region.

With peace talks between the northern Turks and the southern Greek Cypriots stalemated for months, the countdown to the arrival of the missiles ticks away and the tension builds in this strategic Mediterranean outpost.

Germany’s foreign minister, Klaus Kinkel, recently sought to diffuse the situation by representations to Turkish leaders.

Watch for more overt diplomacy from the European Union, which can ill afford ructions between its member nation, Greece, and a Turkish nation already aggrieved by Helmut Kohl’s rash rejection of their candidacy for EU membership.