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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-06-06
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Tuesday, 6 June 2000
 EU candidate for accession countries assess the current stage of negotiationsCyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides attended a meeting yesterday, in Ljubljana Slovenia, of the six applicant countries negotiating accession to the European Union. The purpose of the meeting was to assess the current stage of accession negotiations and discuss prospects of progress in the accession process.
In a joint statement after the meeting, the Foreign Ministers of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary Poland and Slovenia noted the progress made in the course of the last two years, and welcomed the perspective that by the end of the Portuguese Presidency all negotiating chapters will have been opened.
They expressed the hope that the Feira European Council (19-20 June) would take note of the conclusion of the first stage of the negotiations. This will provide a solid base for entering a new phase of negotiations under the French Presidency, by enhancing the pace of negotiations and starting effective and substantial dialogue on all issues with the aim of solving as many of them as possible.
The Ministers noted, inter alia, that each candidate's progress in the negotiations should be evaluated on an equal footing and each country should be judged on its own individual merits.
They confirmed the commitments of their countries to meet the criteria for EU membership by the time of anticipated accession. They also welcomed the European Council declaration at Helsinki that the EU will be prepared to enlarge by the end of the year 2002 and reiterated the determination of their countries to be prepared for accession at the same time.
The Ministers of the six candidate countries decided to meet at the end of November 2000 in Budapest, in order to evaluate the progress achieved in the accession process, before the EU Council meeting in Nice, which is crucial for European unification.
 It is inconceivable to accept Turkey in the EU with the present status quo in CyprusEU Commissioner for Enlargement Gunter Verheugen said that it is inconceivable to accept Turkey in the EU, if the present status quo in Cyprus is maintained.
Speaking at the 45th meeting of the EU - Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, in Brussels yesterday, the first meeting of the JPC since the Helsinki European Council at which Turkey was granted EU candidate status, Mr Verhuegen stressed that he could not visualise Turkey as a member of the EU, if the situation in Cyprus is not changed.
In his intervention, Mr Verheugen said he believed that the solution to the Cyprus problem was not very far. We must all work for a solution which safeguards the interests of both communities and their security. With goodwill from both sides, the solution is near, he said.
Mr Verheugen pointed out that although Greece and Turkey are expected to support and encourage the efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem, the weight falls on the two communities.
Referring to Cyprus' accession to the EU, Mr Verheugen said that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Denktash has realised that accession will benefit the Turkish Cypriots but he must make some moves to prove it.
After the decision at Helsinki, it is clear that the political solution to the Cyprus problem is not a precondition for Cyprus' accession to the EU, he said.
Regarding Cyprus' EU course Mr Verheugen reiterated that Cyprus is ahead of all the candidate countries for accession and could easily complete the negotiations first he said.
Finally he expressed the hope that in the end both the solution of the Cyprus problem and the accession of the whole island to the EU, will be achieved.
 Cyprus and Cape Verde establish diplomatic relationsA protocol establishing diplomatic relations between Cyprus and Cape Verde was signed in New York on 30 May.
Cyprus' Permanent Representative in the United Nations Sotos Zakheos and the Permanent Representative of Cape Verde Jose Luis Barboza Leao signed the protocol on behalf of Cyprus and Cape Verde.
During the ceremony, both Ambassadors stressed the excellent cooperation that exists between the two countries on an international level and the need to develop bilateral cooperation further, in order to tackle common problems and challenges.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/