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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-10-04
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Wednesday, 4 October 2000
 Robin Cook: "We wish to see Cyprus an island restored as one single sovereign state"Britain fully supports the talks aimed at a settlement. In our view we would like to see a settlement reflecting the UN resolutions and heading towards what we have always believed would be the best possible way of accommodating both sides, a bizonal, bicommunal federation," the British Foreign Secretary, Mr Robin Cook, stated yesterday.
In a statement to the press after a meeting in London with Cyprus Foreign Minister Mr Ioannis Kasoulides, Mr Cook welcomed the fact that the talks have now been going on for longer than any previous attempt, as a good sign.
"This is an historic opportunity to resolve the division of Cyprus and I hope that we can seize that opportunity in order to create a single sovereign Cyprus," he said.
He pledged that "Britain, which worked hard in trying to get these talks off the ground, will continue to work hard to try and make sure that they come to a successful outcome".
The British official congratulated Mr Kasoulides on the excellent progress Cyprus is making in its negotiations with the European Union towards membership.
"Cyprus has now, I think, closed more chapters in negotiations than any other single applicant country. I very much welcome that progress and I welcome the very strong sign it gives of the commitment of the Republic of Cyprus to membership of the European Union and we look forward to those also coming to a successful conclusion," he said.
Replying to questions, Mr Cook said that the dialogue the European Union now has with both the Republic of Cyprus and with Turkey helps to create a more positive environment in which the talks can continue.
He also made an appeal to the Turkish Cypriots, to consider the benefits of European Union accession. "And I would also take this opportunity of making a public appeal to the residents in the north: they stand to gain even more than the Greek Cypriot community from membership of the European Union, they would benefit immensely from it. It is in their interest that they should resolve the division of the island so that they also can join at the same time as the current Republic of Cyprus," he said.
"We wish to see the Republic of Cyprus a member of the European Union, we wish to see Cyprus an island restored as one single sovereign state along our longstanding commitment to a bizonal, bicommunal federation", he added.
On his part, Mr Kasoulides said that the Greek Cypriot side will not miss the opportunity for a settlement and said everybody understands that the future solution in Cyprus has to be within the parameters of Security Council resolutions.
 Jacques Poos: Cyprus problem becomes entirely a European Community problem.The Rapporteur of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Parliament Mr Jacques Poos said on 2 October that after the decision at Helsinki and the acceptance of Turkey as a candidate country for accession to the European Union, the Cyprus problem becomes entirely a European problem.
In his speech at the European Socialist Group meeting at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on the subject of enlargement, Mr Poos said that the European Union, through the prospect offered by Helsinki, is obliged to play an active role in the efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.
Referring to Cyprus' European Union accession Mr Poos pointed out that the Turkish Cypriots have a lot to gain and nothing to lose from it. He also stressed the need for the demilitarization of the island.
The President of the Joint Parliamentary EU-Cyprus Committee Mrs Mechtild Rothe, also referring to the Cyprus problem at the meeting, said that at Helsinki the European Union decided to give candidate status to Turkey so that the latter would change its position on the Cyprus problem.
The European Union must make it clear to Turkey that it is essential to terminate the occupation of Cyprus in order for its candidacy to proceed, she added.
Concluding, Mrs Rothe said that Cyprus' accession to the EU could play a catalytic role in the solution of the Cyprus problem.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/