VISIT OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL-JOINT COMMUJNIQUE
JOINT COMMUNIQUE CONCERNING THE TALKS BETWEEN THE PRIME MINISTER OF GREECE AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC - 19/4/2003
During my stay in Cyprus I have met with the President of the Republic Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, the President of the House of Representatives Mr Dimitris Christofias and I had a joint meeting with the leaders of the Cypriot political parties participating in the National Council.
During the talks that were carried out the complete satisfaction of the two governments was expressed concerning the achievement of the strategic goal of Cyprus? accession to the European Union with the historic signing of the Treaty of Accession of Cyprus to the European Union.
Ways of better cooperation and coordination in the institutions of the European Union were discussed, as were practical ways of attaining synergies in the framework of the Convention for the Future of Europe which will determine the new institutional character and structure of the Europe of 25 members. It was also stressed that common efforts should be further intensified so that by May 1st 2004, Cyprus will be in a position to implement the acquis communautaire and to be fully aligned with all her institutional and contractual obligations, on the basis of timetables as they have been set by the European Union.
During the talks there was a broad review of the Cyprus problem in the light of developments after the failure of The Hague talks, the report of the UN Secretary General to the Security Council and the recent Security Council resolution 1475 (2003). Views, information and assessments were exchanged and further handling and steps were agreed.
The common commitment to the quest of a peaceful solution through negotiations was affirmed; and it was stressed once again that both governments maintain the position that the Annan plan constitutes a basis for negotiations for the finding of a workable and viable solution of the Cyprus problem in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and the principles on which the European Union is founded.
At the same time, the support of the continuation of the good offices of the UN Secretary General in the framework of the Security Council mandate was underlined one more time. The conviction was expressed that the European Union and Cyprus? accession will contribute decisively to the solution of the Cyprus problem.
Both President Papadopoulos and myself reiterated our position that for the present stalemate in the efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem as well as for the continuation of the unacceptable status quo, full responsibility is borne by the Turkish side and particularly the Turkish Cypriot side. Through their continuing intransigent attitude the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot side block the achievement of a solution to the Cyprus problem, prevent the reunification of Cyprus and deprive the Turkish Cypriot of the opportunity to benefit from the fruit of development and prosperity created by the accession to the European Union.
We expressed the expectation that the Turkish Government will reconsider its policy on the Cyprus problem and will realize that it is in Turkey?s interest, in connection with her European course and prospect, to achieve immediately a solution to the Cyprus problem which, inter alia, will facilitate the complete normalization of relations between Greece and Turkey and will contribute to the creation of conditions of stability and security in the region.
President Papadopoulos briefed me on the contents of the recently formulated policy of the Cyprus Government in respect of the Turkish Cypriot community, making special mention to the first bunch of measures to be announced, which will aim in the framework of the acquis communautaire to improve the standard of living and ensure those rights and gains that will result from European Union will also benefit the Turkish Cypriot citizens of the Republic.
The international situation, particularly after the recent war in Iraq and the situation in the Middle East was also discussed. There was identity of views and assessment and common actions and common initiatives were agreed which will contribute as far as possible to the creation of conditions of security, peace and stability in the region.
The talks were held in a friendly and cordial, as always, climate and provided an opportunity to reaffirm the excellent and effective cooperation between Greece and Cyprus in all fields. The common assessment is that there is room for further cooperation in additional sectors of common interest and activity, particularly in the current demanding and antagonistic conditions prevailing internationally. A common target and common pursuit is, in addition to the active and credible participation of the two countries in the European and world events, to serve on the basis of common priorities, the best interests of the two countries.