Weston describes payment of compensation to Loizidou as positive
by Demetris Apokis
Washington, Dec 3 (CNA) -- US State Department's Special Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston in a statement to CNA described as positive the fact that Turkey paid yesterday to Greek Cypriot Titina Loizidou the compensation, which the European Court of Human Rights had ordered Ankara to pay to Loizidou for the loss of the use of her property in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus.
Speaking at a gathering at John Hopkins University Weston appeared to be optimistic as regards the possibility for progress in the process for a Cyprus settlement, based on the Annan plan, prior to Cyprus' full membership to the EU on 1 May 2004.
He said that a solution before May, based on the Annan plan, is still tangible, since the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan abides by its commitment to offer his good offices under the condition that all parties concerned will show a sincere political will.
Weston said that in his opinion it will be much more difficult to reach a settlement after May 2004. The US diplomat expressed the view that under the circumstances any solution will be very close to the Annan plan.
He announced that he plans to visit Cyprus just after the ''elections'' in Cyprus' Turkish-occupied north.
Weston noted that efforts by the international community are concentrated to the resumption of the Cyprus negotiations.
As regards the Annan plan, the US envoy expressed the view that it is a propitious plan for the Turkish Cypriots, noting that facts prove that the majority of Turkish Cypriots is in favour of a solution based on the Annan plan and of accession to the EU.
A European Commission delegation representative in Washington who also spoke during the event said that current circumstances favour a Cyprus settlement.
Both Weston and the EU official described the outcome and the results of the forthcoming ''elections'' in the occupied areas as particularly important and said that a specific outcome will be more favourable as regards the prospects for a settlement.
They said Turkey has made a significant progress regarding the fulfilment of the political criteria for the beginning of its accession negotiations with the EU.
The EU official said that a solution to the Cyprus problem does not consist a precondition for the attribution of a date for the beginning of the accession negotiations to Turkey, noting at the same time that it will be difficult for a positive decision to be taken in this issue without progress in the Cyprus problem.
Both officials noted the importance of Turkey being integrated to Europe, especially after the recent terrorist attacks in Constantinople (Istanbul).