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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-02-03

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus - Internet - EU accession course

  • 1125:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus - Internet - EU accession course

    by Myria Antoniadou

    Nicosia, Feb 3 (CNA) -- The Cyprus team negotiating accession to the European Union and the European Commission delegation in Nicosia are using the Internet to inform Turkish Cypriots on European Union matters thereby managing to sidestep efforts by the Turkish Cypriot leadership to keep them isolated.

    The Republic's team negotiating accession launched its homepage last month with a main aim of keeping Turkish Cypriots informed and its efforts will be complimented this month with a website being prepared by the Commission delegation.

    The Cyprus website ( is written in both Greek and Turkish and soon Turkish Cypriots will have the chance to put forward their questions, comments and assessments through E-mails.

    In his separate message to Turkish Cypriots, included in the homepage, chief negotiator George Vassiliou says it aims at offering information on a number of issues regarding the accession talks, which opened in March 1998.

    "Our second aim is to share your assessment of the benefits which we expect to have for all Cypriots," he says, adding that "you will soon have the opportunity to put forward your questions and develop your views".

    Vassiliou reassures Turkish Cypriots that "we will always be at your disposal to respond to your questions" and expresses his "sincere conviction that this page will prove useful for all citizens of Cyprus and a forum of constructive dialogue".

    European Commission delegation spokesman in Nicosia Nicolas Karydis described the website as "a positive move to inform Turkish Cypriots on the accession procedure and shows the government's dedication to the participation of Turkish Cypriots."

    He added that the delegation "will launch its own website in February."

    A government proposal to Turkish Cypriots to nominate representatives in the official team negotiating accession has been turned down by their leader Rauf Denktash.

    EU officials and European state leaders described President Glafcos Clerides' offer to the Turkish Cypriots as "generous and courageous".

    One of Denktash's arguments against accession is that the Cyprus constitution does not allow the Republic to join an international organisation if Greece and Turkey (together with Britain are the guarantors of Cyprus' independence) are not also members, but this has been rejected by the government and the EU itself.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    In his message to the Turkish Cypriots, Vassiliou says that "until your participation in the accession procedures is made possible we will try to keep you informed..."

    The Cyprus website also contains information on the screening programme, its results, chapters which have been completed and chapters now negotiated on, but is soon expected to be upgraded with more important information.

    CNA MA/GP/1999
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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