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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-01-14
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Friday, 14 January 2000
In a statement to the press after the meeting Mr Cook said that with Mr Papandreou they discussed "how to follow through the great achievement at Helsinki where we both opened the door to Turkey to have a new relationship with the European Union (EU) and recognised it as a candidate country for EU membership".
"We also achieved language on Cyprus, which made it clear that whilst the EU wants to see a resolution to the division of the island, that is not a precondition of membership to the EU", he added.
These two decisions, he stressed, taken together at Helsinki represented "a great step forward toward resolving some of the long-standing tensions within the region".
Mr Cook paid tribute to the contribution of the Greek government and in particular of Mr Papandreou in this direction.
"Now we must build on that. We both want to see the current UN process on the division of Cyprus taken forward to a successful conclusion which will give us what we want to see, which is the end of the division of the island, " he concluded.
On his part Mr Papandreou described British suggestions and proposals as "crucial in the final decision made at Helsinki" which created a compromise by which all were happy, not only the EU member states, but also Greece, Turkey and Cyprus.
Asked whether Britain linked Turkey's EU - relations with a more positive stance on Cyprus, Mr Papandreou said that this is implied by the Helsinki conclusions, which consider the Cyprus question as a European problem and that the EU will assist UN-led efforts for a Cyprus settlement.
Mr Papandreou also said that Greece and Britain agreed to cooperate closely towards the success of the talks.
Presenting his credentials, the new Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Mr Pero Jancovic expressed his country's strong support to "efforts of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus to acquire a just solution through the comprehensive negotiating process under the guidance of the United Nations Organisation."
Mr Jancovic said that the people of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia will "never forget the enormous support of the Cypriot people" in the beginning of the crises in former Yugoslavia and during the "brutal NATO aggression on our country". He also referred to the humanitarian support given by Cyprus to more than 700.000 Serbs expelled from their homes, as well as to the Yugoslav citizens.
Also presenting his credentials as the Ambassador of Colombia to Cyprus, Mr Manuel Jose Bonett Locarno, expressed his government's wish "to maintain, strengthen and promote the good relations which so happily have existed between Colombia and the Republic of Cyprus".
The Colombian Ambassador said his country fully supports the reunification of Cyprus and the settlement of its political problem within the UN framework and Cyprus' accession to the European Union, and expressed the hope that "the Cyprus people will live in the near future in a reunified island under one flag and peace, being a full a member of the EU".
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/