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Government to continue to pursue settlement after accession
2003-04-14 16:02:35

by Maria Koniotou-- Athens, Apr 14 (CNA) - Cyprus' accession to the EU is important for the island, Government Spokesman Kypros Chrisostomides said today and underlined that the government will continue to pursue a solution of the Cyprus problem, within the UN framework, after the signing of the Accession Treaty by Cyprus here Wednesday.

Speaking at the Foreign Press Centre in Athens, Chrisostomides noted that ''Cyprus proudly joins the EU and expresses its deep gratitude to the Greek government, the political society and people of Greece for their stable support to Cyprus' course towards the EU'', and commemorated Greece's late Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis, who was one of the main contributors, as he noted, in efforts to promote Cyprus' accession to the EU.|

The Spokesman stressed that ''the signing does not mean that we will rest and that the process for a Cyprus settlement has been concluded'', adding that ''with the Accession Treaty Cyprus' course towards the EU is not concluded and there will be the ratification process by the parliaments of the member states that has to be closely followed''.

''I do not believe there will be any problems during this process'', Chrisostomides said.

Chrisostomides also expressed the government's wish for the peace process to remain within the UN framework and underlined that it was not possible to elbow the UN out of the way.

Replying to questions, Chrisostomides noted that Cyprus' accession to the EU means that a European settlement of the Cyprus problem should be pursued, taking into consideration as far as possible the acquis communautaire.

''We are still pursuing a functional solution to the Cyprus problem, that will be to the benefit of all citizens of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots'', the Spokesman assured.

Commenting on the fact that Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who will represent Turkey in Athens, is not expected to be present at the signing of the Treaty by Cyprus, as Turkey does not recognise the Republic since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974, Chrisostomides noted that ''the Republic of Cyprus continues to exist in international law and the fact that Turkey does not recognise it is not an important aspect that will be taken into consideration by the EU''.

Invited to comment on the possible reaction by Turkey to Cyprus' accession, Chrisostomides said ''we do not know what Turkey's reaction will be and we cannot make any speculation on this''.


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