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Papadopoulos: Cyprus could protect EU from illegal immigrant influx
2003-10-21 10:55:16

Larnaca, Oct 19 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos expressed satisfaction over the result of his visits to Luxembourg and Brussels.

Speaking on his return Saturday from his official visit to Luxembourg and then Brussels where he attended the informal council, he expressed the hope that the view of the small EU member states that they maintain the number of six euro Mps will finally prevail.

Referring to the issue of illegal immigrants discussed during the European Council of Brussels, President Papadopoulos said the view of the government is that Cyprus, as the south-eastern edge of Europe can protect the EU from the influx of illegal immigrants, adding that it is acceptable by many countries that the cost for better monitoring borders should be a joint effort.

He reminded that ?Cyprus and Italy have signed a bilateral agreement to conduct joint patrols in the coastal area and for this reason Cyprus has bought from Italy five coast guards?.

Papadopoulos said the Commission?s composition, the duties of the new Foreign Minister, the rotating EU Presidency as well as other issues were raised during the meeting.

Referring to the Italian Presidency, President Papadopoulos said it has undertaken to submit a new, complete proposal referring to the EU Constitution which will be submitted at the next Intergovernmental Conference.

President Papadopoulos described as completely satisfactory his two-day visit to Luxembourg, noting that together with Luxembourg?s Prime Minister Jean Claude Juncker they will give a new dimension to cooperation between the two countries.

In any case, he said ?Luxembourg is a small country like Cyprus and one of the founding members of the EU?, noting that Cyprus maintains almost "similar views regarding the Intergovernmental Conference and the new EU constitution".

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