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President says Cyprus to pursue best wording at EU summit
2004-11-30 13:38:01

Larnaca, Nov 30 (CNA) -- Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said Cyprus would pursue the best possible wording in the conclusions of the European Council as far as the issue of recognition of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey is concerned.

Speaking to reporters after returning from a three-day state visit to Slovakia, President Papadopoulos also said the draft resolution on a report on Turkey by Dutch rapporteur of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Camiel Eurlings, is satisfactory for Cyprus but stressed that the decision to begin accession negotiations with Turkey is taken by EU governments.

Invited to comment on the first draft of the conclusions of the European Council, submitted yesterday by the Dutch presidency to the Committee of Permanent Representatives, the Cypriot President said ''it is a first draft'' to be debated on a number of occasions and ''we hope that a document which will satisfy the demands of all EU Council states will emerge.''

''Every country has its own views on the first draft just as we do. The effort is to coordinate all efforts, so if possible the 17th December Council will end successfully and not at a deadlock,'' the President added.

Invited to comment on the issue of recognition by Turkey, President Papadopoulos said Cyprus' permanent representative in Brussels was examining the issue today with Dutch presidency representatives. ''We will pursue the best possible wording,'' the President stressed.

He repeated that the Council's resolution on Turkey would be decided on bearing in mind the views of all member states.

Commenting on the draft resolution on a report on Turkey prepared by Dutch rapporteur Camiel Eurlings, President Papadopoulos said the report is before the European Parliament for some weeks now.

''The final document satisfies us,'' he said, noting however that the decision to start accession negotiations with Turkey ''is taken by the (EU) governments'' and will not determine the positions of the governments.

To a remark that a spokesman of Turkey's National Security Council said that the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots must be lifted in order for Turkey to recognise Cyprus, President Papadopoulos replied, ''The 'isolation' depends on a great, great extent to the self-isolation imposed by the occupation forces and Turkey, not for purely economic reasons but to achieve political benefits.''

In his statements, President Papadopoulos thanked the government, President, Prime Minister and President of the Slovak Parliament for the invitation to visit the country as well as ''the atmosphere of understanding and accord'' in which the negotiations between the two countries were conducted.

President Papadopoulos also referred to talks with Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ursula Plassnik, whom he met in private on Sunday evening as he stopped over in Vienna, on his way to Bratislava.

He said that during their meeting they examined Austria's position on issues concerning the 17 December European Council as well as the views of the government of Cyprus.

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