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Saturday, July 11, 1998 Published at 11:30 GMT 12:30 UK


World: Europe

Clerides heads for Moscow as Cyprus missile tension continues


The president of Cyprus, Glafcos Clerides, has said he's willing to cancel thedeployment of Russian-built missiles on the divided island if talks are held on the demilitarisation of all of Cyprus.

The offer -- which he first made last month -- came as he left for Moscow, where he's expected to discuss the missile plan.

The weapons are due for delivery later this year and the Cypriot defence minister, Yiannakis Omirou, has been visiting southern Russia to watch test-firings by Cypriot army officers training there.

Turkey, which has more than thirty-thousand troops in the breakaway northern part of the island, has warned that it will match any missile deployment by the Greek Cypriots.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service



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