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EU Commission President hopes to see a unified Cyprus entering the EU
2003-11-05 17:03:22

Brussels, Nov 5 (CNA) -- European Commission President Romano Prodi said here Wednesday the Commission hopes to see a unified Cyprus entering the EU.

Addressing the European Parliament in Brussels, where the Commission presented the strategy paper and report of the European Commission on the progress towards accession by Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, Prodi further said it is in Turkey's interests to find a rapid solution to the Cyprus problem.

In his address, Prodi said "next year will be a decisive year" for Turkey "and this will be one of the last substantive decisions to be taken by his Commission in the course of this mandate, that is to assess to what extent Turkey will respect the political criteria of Copenhagen and will have to make a recommendation as regards the opening of accession negotiations.

Noting there has been "clear progress demonstrating a desire and determination of the Turkish government to do everything in its power to respect the political criteria of accession", Prodi said the Commission would be following very closely areas where further progress is necessary.

On Cyprus, he said "the Commission hopes to see a unified Cyprus coming in to the EU. We still hope this is possible", he said.

The European Commission said "it is also in Turkey's interests to find a rapid solution here because problems here could be an obstacle on the path of its aspirations".

He also said "it is possible on the basis of the UN Secretary General to resolve this problem by 1st of May next year", adding that "all the contracting parties have to make contributions to this process and the Commission is ready to do its bit to ensure this is possible".

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