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President Papadopoulos says EU involvement on Cyprus gaining ground
2005-04-14 12:02:49

Nicosia, Apr 13 (CNA) -- Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said that the view for a more active EU involvement in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem is gradually gaining ground among EU member states, stressing that it is widely accepted that the Cyprus problem remains under UN auspices.

President Papadopoulos confirmed that he has received an invitation by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to visit Britain.

“England is directly involved in Cyprus, and this visit will not determine the British policy on Cyprus, nor England is expecting to learn the Cyprus positions through this visit”, the President said.

He added that such meetings are “useful and are part of continued efforts with interested parties on Cyprus to promote our positions in the wider European region”.

Asked if this would be a landmark visit, President Papadopoulos said “I do not think it is an historic milestone”.

The Cypriot President said the government is in communication with the British government to form the agenda of the visit, noting that the fact that Britain is assuming in June the EU presidency is “of special interest for a closer and more sincere approach” with the country.

To a remark that his appeals for a more active EU involvement on Cyprus seem to be taken into consideration following reports that Jaakko Blomberg, former Finish envoy for Cyprus, will be active soon as the European Commission’s special adviser on Cyprus while Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn will visit Cyprus, the President said:

“It was one of the government’s declared aims that in every new effort for a solution to the Cyprus problem we want a more intense, active involvement of the EU, provided that it is commonly accepted that the Cyprus problem should remain under UN auspices”.

“I believe that gradually this view is beginning to gain ground and I have my reasons to believe that this view is gaining ground and it is being adopted by a large number of EU states”, the Cypriot President concluded.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island’s northern third.

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