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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-05-04
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Thursday, 4 May 2000
 US should exert its influence on Turkey to adopt a "constructive and positive" position on the Cyprus questionCyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides had a meeting yesterday with Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama, who arrived in Cyprus on Tuesday for a two-day official visit.
In a statement to the press after the meeting, Mr Kasoulides said that they discussed the Cyprus problem, EU related matters including enlargement, the objectives of the Portuguese Presidency, and developments in the Middle East.
On his part Mr Gama, who is currently President of the European Union Council, said that the purpose of his visit was to reaffirm the commitment to the strategy adopted in the Helsinki Summit and to the enlargement procedures. He described his contacts in Cyprus as "very fruitful".
The Portuguese Foreign Minister said that his country is very interested in developments in the Cyprus issue and its accession process and referred to various EU decisions relating to Cyprus.
Replying to journalist's questions Mr Gama pointed out that by its decision to accept Turkey as a candidate country, the European Union has made a step forward. "Now it is time for the US, through its special relationship with Turkey, to argue also to Turkey the merits of having a constructive position regarding the Cyprus problem," he said.
Mr Gama reiterated that no separate negotiations can take place with the Turkish Cypriot community, but stressed the need to inform the Turkish Cypriots about the merits of accession.
Commenting on the Cyprus problem, Mr Gama said that the most important thing is the EU decision to go ahead with Cyprus' accession even if the Cyprus problem is not solved. This is "something new and different regarding Cyprus," he concluded.
 Both parties must make an effort in a spirit of "give-and-take"Britain wants a "change of gear" when the talks resume, moving towards continuous and sustained negotiations on the issues with both parties "prepared to negotiate in a spirit of give-and-take" for a solution of the Cyprus problem, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Keith Vas has stated.
Speaking during a debate on Cyprus in the House of Commons on 2 May, initiated by Labour MP Tom Cox, Mr Vaz stressed that Britain "is committed to doing all it can to assist the bringing about of a just and durable resolution of the Cyprus problem".
"The UK will continue to support with determination and energy, Kofi Annan and his Special Adviser Alvaro de Soto, in their efforts towards achieving a settlement on the island. We will continue to work closely with Greece and Turkey and will provide our Cypriot friends with maximum encouragement and support," he assured.
"The Government look forward to welcoming Cyprus warmly in the EU. We hope that we will be welcoming a reunited island that ensures the future security and prosperity of all Cypriots. All hon. Members who care deeply about Cyprus will support that aim," he added.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/