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Monday, December 14, 1998 Published at 22:04 GMT

World: Europe

US bid to defuse Cyprus row

The American presidential envoy, Richard Holbrooke, has urged the Greek Defence Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos to persuade the Cypriot government not to proceed with its plan to install anti-aircraft missiles on the divided island.

The Cypriot government has said it will deploy the Russian-made missiles before the New Year to counter what it says is Turkish air superiority over Cyprus.

Correspondents say Mr Holbrooke made little headway at his meeting in Athens, even though he argued that buying the missiles could dangerously increase tension in the eastern Mediterranean.

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