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Cyprus to be number one supporter of Turkey's EU perspective
2002-05-09 10:43:59

Nicosia, May 9 (CNA) -- Cyprus, as a future EU member state, will be the number one supporter of Turkey's perspective of accession to the Union, since this will lead Turkey to accept the democratic criteria of Copenhagen, which should be met by all candidate countries.

This view was shared by Cyprus' chief negotiator with the European Union George Vassiliou and Victor Harel, Deputy Director General for European Affairs of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, who arrived here today for talks with the government of Cyprus. |

"I stressed to Mr Harel, and he agreed with me, that Cyprus as a future member state of the EU, even without a solution to the Cyprus problem, will be the number one supporter of Turkey's perspective to join the EU, since Turkey will thus accept the Copenhagen criteria," Vassiliou said.

He told the press that he and Harel discussed Cyprus' EU accession course, "the advantages of which are acknowledged by the Israeli government".

"Cyprus has every reason to support a democratic, European Turkey, and not one which is under military rule", Vassiliou noted.

The current situation in the Middle East was also on the agenda of their meeting. Vassiliou expressed the view that the solution of the problem in the Middle East should be in line with the proposal of Saudi Arabia.

He pointed out that violence cannot lead to any kind of solution; it will rather add more pain, both to Israelis and to Palestinians.

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