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Opposition leader discussed Cyprus issue with EU Council President
2005-03-15 12:07:59

Nicosia, Mar 15 (CNA) ---- The question of Cyprus and prospects for a solution, the European Commission's regulation for direct trade with the Turkish Cypriots and other issues of international concern were on the agenda of a meeting between the leader of the main opposition Democratic Rally party (DISY) Nicos Anastasiades and Prime Minister of Luxembourg and current President of the European Council Jean Claude Juncker.

DISY Spokesman Tasos Mitsopoulos told today CNA that at the meeting in Luxembourg on Monday Anastasiades expressed the concerns of the Greek Cypriot side regarding the direct trade regulation. The party spokesman said the meeting established that some EU member states exert pressure on the EU Presidency to adopt the regulation.

Regarding the Cyprus issue, Mitsopoulos said that Anastasiades expressed the readiness of the Greek Cypriot side for a new initiative to solve the problem and stressed that Greek Cypriot concerns and expectations must be taken into account if the initiative is to be constructive and lead to a solution.

Mitsopoulos also said that Juncker assured Anastasiades that Luxembourg understands the positions put forward by the Greek Cypriot side regarding the Cyprus issue.

Juncker and Anastasiades discussed Croatia's European bid as well as the Middle East issue. Anastasiades talked about the possibility to establish in Cyprus a European Observation Desk for Middle East issues.

The meeting took place at Anastasiades' request who is currently in Luxembourg to participate in the EU meeting of the chairmen of parliamentary Committees on External Affairs of EU members, the European Parliament and candidate countries.

In a speech at the meeting, Anastasiades referred to the European Policy for Good Neighbourhood and said that the Cyprus government is ready to become a bridge of political, economic and intercultural cooperation, noting that Cyprus enjoys very good relations with the Eastern Mediterranean countries.

''The accession of Cyprus to the EU has brought the Union closer to the Middle East, thus strengthening the Union's prospect to take more effective action in this area. This action should aim at the resolution of the long standing Middle East problem and the promotion of the welfare of the people of the area'', Anastasiades said.

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