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Verheugen: Cyprus will join the EU May 2004
2003-01-31 14:43:23

Constantinople, Jan 31 (CNA) -- Cyprus will join the European Union on May 2004 and nothing is going to change that, EU Enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen said in Ankara and called on the Turkish Cypriot leadership to listen to the Turkish Cypriots.

Verheugen expressed the belief that UN Secretary General's plan for Cyprus is the best ever submitted and pointed out that there will not be a better plan.

He called on the Turkish government to use its influence so that a solution to the Cyprus question is found based on the Annan plan.|

The Cyprus question can be solved the soonest possible if there is good will, Verheugen noted.

He added that Cyprus will enter the EU on May 2004 and this cannot change. The pending issue, he added, is whether a united Cyprus will enter or not.

President Glafcos Clerides and Denktash, are engaged in intense negotiations to find a settlement within the timeframe of 28 February, as set by Annan, in an effort to give enough time for referenda to be prepared and Cyprus to sign the Accession Treaty with the European Union reunited, on 16 April.

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

CNA/EA/GS/MK/2002
ENDS,CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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