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Solana says his comments on Cyprus' EU accession misinterpreted
2002-04-22 16:09:00

By Maria Myles
Valencia, Apr 22 (CNA) - European Union High Representative for foreign and security policy Javier Solana has reiterated his adherence to EU decisions about Cyprus' accession to the Union, saying that comments he made in a recent interview about the Republic's accession seem to have been misinterpreted, EU diplomatic sources currently in Valencia for the EuroMediterranean Conference have told CNA.

They said that Solana appeared surprised at the reaction to the remarks attributed to him by a Greek paper, in which he is said to have referred to the accession to the EU of one part of Cyprus if the island's political problem is not solved by then.

According to the same sources, when asked to clarify his statements Solana expressed his adherence to EU Helsinki decisions about Cyprus' accession and said Brussels is committed to these decisions.

| The EU said in its Helsinki Summit conclusions that a political settlement of the island's division would facilitate accession but it is not a precondition for it.

In an interview with "Vima" newspaper, Solana said "the northern part of Cyprus has not negotiated at all with the EU, and therefore it does not fulfill the criteria."

He also said, according to the paper, "one part of Cyprus will join the EU and another will have to wait."

The government of Cyprus, representing the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus, has been engaged in membership talks since 1998. Talks are set to conclude by the end of this year.

Cyprus' northern part has been under Turkish occupation since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded the island. The government of Cyprus believes that if there is no settlement by the time of accession, the acquis communautaire will apply in the southern government-controlled part of the island until the country is reunited.

Solana in a different interview only a day before the "Vima" remarks, had said that nobody can stop the EU decisions that Brussels is ready to take.

"Naturally we want to see a solution in Cyprus, but if there is no solution, this does not mean that there will be repercussions on Cyprus' accession to the EU," Solana told "Imerisia" newspaper.



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