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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-06-19

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

  • [01]Thursday, 19 June 2003 President Papadopoulos departs for Thessaloniki to attend EU Summit
  • [02] We still prefer the accession of a united Cyprus to the EU, says Verheugen

    [01] President Papadopoulos departs for Thessaloniki to attend EU Summit

    The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, departed today for Thessaloniki, Greece, to participate in the European Council meeting and the EU - Western Balkans Summit, which will take place in Chalkidiki on 19-22 June 2003. Accompanying the President are, inter alia, the Foreign Minister Mr Georgios Iacovou and the Government Spokesman Mr Kypros Chrysostomides. Mr Chrysostomides noted yesterday at the daily press briefing that the President would hold meetings with EU heads of state, on the sidelines of the Thessaloniki European Council, to discuss the Cyprus issue. President Papadopoulos and the Cyprus delegation will return to the island on Sunday.

    [02] We still prefer the accession of a united Cyprus to the EU, says Verheugen

    "It is still our preferred option that Cyprus will join as a united Cyprus", the EU Enlargement Commissioner Mr Gunter Verheugen stressed, adding that "whatever happens, Cyprus will join". Speaking yesterday at a press conference in Nicosia, prior to his departure for Brussels following a three-day visit to the island, Mr Verheugen outlined the purpose of his trip, which was to assess Cyprus' EU accession course, be briefed on the latest political developments and discuss the European Commission's support measures for Turkish Cypriots. Regarding his impressions from his visit, the EU Commissioner referred to the "clear commitment" of the Cyprus Government to resume the peace talks and reach a settlement on the basis of the Annan plan. "The Cyprus Government shares the objective of the accession of a united Cyprus and we share the opinion that the window of opportunity is still open and should be used before the 1 May 2004", he said. On his meeting yesterday with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Verheugen noted that Mr Denktash "repeated his well-known positions on the Annan plan" claiming that the plan was not on the negotiating table. On the European Commission's aid package to Turkish Cypriots, the EU official said, "This is a way for the Commission to express its solidarity with the Turkish Cypriot people and to make clear that Turkish Cypriots are welcome in the EU", stressing at the same time that the only way for that to happen was through a comprehensive settlement of the political problem. He further said that Mr Denktash agreed on the financial part of the aid package, but did not accept the proposed trade measures. Mr Verheugen expressed regret that the entire package was not accepted and noted, "we will put these measures in place, and it will be for the parties to use them or not". Replying to a question on Turkey's EU accession course, he underlined that Turkey would not be allowed to use Cyprus as a trade-off to further its own accession, and added that it would be to Turkey's best interest if a solution was found by 1 May 2004. Replying to another question by a Turkish Cypriot journalist who mentioned the argument that Cyprus could not join the EU under its 1960 Constitution, Mr Verheugen said, "We have made our decision. Cyprus will join. If you don't like it, go to the international court in The Hague and file a complaint. This is a legal view that we do not share."

    From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


    Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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