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Papandreou and Cox discuss Cyprus problem
2003-01-28 15:03:11

By Nicos Bellos -- Brussels, Jan 28 (CNA) ? The Cyprus problem was one of the issues President of the EU Council of Ministers, George Papandreou discussed with European Parliament President Pat Cox.

Papandreou told the External Relations Committee meeting of the European Parliament that he met Cox on Sunday in Brussels and discussed with him important current issues within the framework of the close cooperation of the Greek EU presidency and the European Parliament.|

During the meeting, the latest developments in Cyprus were examined, as well as the crisis over Iraq and the convention on the Future of Europe.

Meanwhile, Greek Finance Minister Nicos Christodoulakis referred to the benefits Turkish Cypriots will have from Cyprus' accession to the European Union, provided a Cyprus settlement is found beforehand.

Speaking before the Finance Committee of the European Parliament, Christodoulakis said that when Cyprus joins the EU, if this takes place after a settlement, the southern part of the island will have the highest per capita income among the ten acceding countries whereas the northern part, now under Turkish occupation, will have the lowest per capita income among the ten new members.

Therefore, the accession of a reunited Cyprus will benefit mainly the northern part, something that the thousands of demonstrators in the northern part of the island recognise, Christodoulakis added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.

CNA/NB/EC/MM/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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