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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-12-20

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] US backs Cyprus solution, Turkey's EU membership

  • 1215:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] US backs Cyprus solution, Turkey's EU membership

    Washington, Dec 20 (CNA) -- The US has reiterated its resolve to work towards a settlement in Cyprus and its conviction that Turkey has a European vocation.

    The US also believes that Turkish Premier Mesut Yilmaz, who met US President Bill Clinton here Friday, does not consider that accession negotiations between Cyprus and the European Union can pave the way for a solution of the Cyprus question.

    A White House statement, issued after yesterday's meeting, said "the two leaders (Clinton, Yilmaz) discussed areas of mutual interest, including energy, trade and investment, regional cooperation, security cooperation, Aegean and Cyprus issues."

    According to US administration officials, Clinton, his Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Defence Secretary Cohen "all expressed their hope and desire that we can move from tension towards peaceful resolution of the existing differences between the two countries (Greece and Turkey), between the parties at the Cyprus question."

    Officials reaffirmed US willingness "to play a positive role in a solution along with the UN, the EU and others who have an active interest in moving towards peaceful resolutions in Cyprus and to a reduction of tensions in the Aegean."

    US presidential emissary Richard Holbrooke, officials said, is working for a bicommunal, bizonal solution in Cyprus and improved relations between Greece and Turkey.

    "I think the Prime Minister is leaving today (Friday) with a sound appreciation of the importance the President attaches to finding ways, practical ways to relieve tensions in the region, and ultimately to resolve some of the issues that are involved," the officials added.

    Discussions in Washington did not enter "into a great level of detail about how to move towards a resolution of the Cyprus question" the officials said, pointing out that Clinton, Albright and Yilmaz would all like to move in that direction.

    Commenting on Turkey's European aspirations, they reaffirmed their position that "it should move towards eventual full membership in the EU," noting that Yilmaz did not "close the door" on talks with the EU despite "some disappointments."

    Yilmaz threatened to end political dialogue with the EU and integrate Cyprus' Turkish occupied areas with Turkey if the Union goes ahead with accession negotiations with Cyprus.

    Turkey was told by the EU to put its house in order, accept the jurisdiction of the International Court at the Hague and contribute towards a settlement in Cyprus before it is included in the list of candidate countries for EU membership.

    Replying to questions, US officials said they got the impression that Yilmaz does not consider the EU decision to begin accession talks with Cyprus "as a barge for eventual solution in Cyprus."

    CNA DA/MM/KN/1997

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