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Competition chapter basically closed, Vassiliou announces
2002-05-20 08:26:31

Nicosia, May 20 (CNA) - Cyprus has "basically closed" the chapter of competition of the EU acquis communautaire and will soon close half part of agriculture chapter regarding veterinary and phytosanitary, Cyprus' chief negotiator with the European Union George Vassiliou announced here today, after a meeting with Michael Leigh, Director at the DG Enlargement of the European Commission.

In his statements, Leigh said that purpose of the meeting was to review the progress in the accession negotiations and expressed hope that the negotiations will be concluded on the timetable at the end of this year. |

"The negotiations are proceeding very well" Leigh told the press, and expressed conviction that the Commission can keep to the enlargement calendar, "which is a firm commitment by the member states as it has been repeated by each European Council".

He noted that between now and the end of this year the main subject for the Cyprus - EU negotiations will be the community budget.

Asked whether there are any problems regarding the chapter of community budget, he said that there are issues, which need to be resolved but they regard all candidate countries.

"I am in the pleasant position to announce that the chapter of competition basically closes. In the same way, half part of the chapter of agriculture concerning veterinary and phytosanitary will close. Only half of the chapter of agriculture remains as well as economic aspects," Vassiliou told the press after the meeting.

"It can be said that Cyprus has successfully concluded the accession negotiations with the EU", Vassiliou added.

He also stated that Cyprus can look forward to its accession to the EU, especially considering the fact that until now the Greek Cypriot side "has done everything right", in the UN-led peace talks on Cyprus, whereas the Turkish Cypriot side "unfortunately refuses" to negotiate on the basis of the EU and UN positions," Vassiliou said.

European Union chief negotiator with Cyprus Leopold Maurer as well as Head of the European Commission's Delegation to Cyprus Donato Chiarini also attended today's meeting.

Cyprus opened accession negotiations with the EU in April 1998 and has so far provisionally closed 27 out of the 30 chapters under negotiation.

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