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Cypriot FM welcomes US envoy's statements on Turkey
2003-09-04 17:35:28

Larnaca, Sep 4 (CNA) ? Cyprus Foreign Minister Georgios Iacovou said there will be a chance in the first three months of 2004 to resume negotiations for a Cyprus settlement, noting that if negotiations do not produce result it is very possible that efforts will move after Cyprus? accession to the EU.

Iacovou, who was speaking before his departure to Italy to attend an Informal EU General Affairs and External Relations Council also expressed the conviction that the start of Turkey's accession negotiations will constitute a powerful motive for Ankara, which might urge her to enter a dialogue for a Cyprus settlement.

The Foreign Minister further welcomed the position expressed by State Department Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston that he cannot imagine Turkey?s accession negotiations to start without a prior solution to the Cyprus problem, noting that this should send a ?clear message to Turkey?.

He compared it with a statement made by EU Enlargement Commissioner, Gunter Verheugen that he could not imagine the start of Turkey?s accession negotiations without a solution to the Cyprus problem.

Iacovou told reporters that he could not see ?negotiations taking place before the start of 2004?.

However, he said there will be a ?chance in the first three months of 2004?. Iacovou also said there is ?still a chance that these efforts will be moved after accession to the EU?.

Asked if he believes that the way to curb the Turkish intransigence has been found, Iacovou expressed certainty ?that the start of accession negotiations for Turkey is a very powerful motive which will lead her to negotiations, and perhaps a solution?.

Referring to his trip to Italy, the Foreign Minister said that serious issues would be discussed there such as the Intergovernmental Conference, which will deal with Europe?s new constitution.

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