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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-03-30

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Clerides fully satisfied with accession talks start

  • 1300:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Clerides fully satisfied with accession talks start

    Nicosia, Mar 30 (CNA) -- Cyprus expressed full satisfaction with the opening statement of the European Union (EU) British presidency by which the accession process for Cyprus was launched today in Brussels.

    Speaking here Monday to a group of Greek professors and students currently visiting Cyprus, President Glafcos Clerides described as "historic" the start of the Cyprus-EU accession talks.

    He expressed "full satisfaction" with the EU presidency's opening statement, marking the start of accession talks.

    President Clerides told the group he expects an unhindered accession course will proceed and that any existing problems will be solved prior to Cyprus' EU membership.

    He expressed regret at the Turkish Cypriot refusal to participate in the talks with the Republic's negotiating team.

    "Unfortunately, there has been a negative stance by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and Ankara, both for their participation in EU accession talks and the resumption of talks for a Cyprus solution," he said.

    The President noted that if Greek and Turkish Cypriots were left alone, without Ankara's intervention, a solution to the long-standing Cyprus question could soon be reached.

    "We are interested in our Turkish Cypriot compatriots' future and we don't want them to feel there is hostility between us, because the fact is that such a thing is non-existent," he added.

    President Clerides said the Greek Cypriot side expects that a Cyprus settlement will be reached that would allow cooperation of the two communities for the island's entry into the EU.

    The accession process for Cyprus and five other counties was launched today in Brussels, in the presence of the Foreign Ministers of the 15 EU member-states and the 11 applicant countries. Among them was Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides.

    Cyprus chief negotiator in talks with the EU George Vassiliou, former Cyprus President, is also in Brussels.

    The EU will hold tomorrow intergovernmental conferences with the favoured six, namely Cyprus, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia and Estonia.

    A proposal by President Clerides for the participation of Turkish Cypriots in the Republic's negotiating team, although it was described as "courageous and fair" by the EU presidency, has been turned down by the Turkish Cypriot leader.

    Denktash threatened not to attend future UN-led peace talks on Cyprus and of integrating to Turkey his secessionist entity, if the EU went ahead with accession talks with Cyprus.

    Cyprus applied for EU full membership in 1990. It signed an association agreement with the European Community in 1972 and a customs union protocol in 1987.

    CNA AP/GP/1998
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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