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Cyprus says French points for EU counterstatement positive
2005-09-12 17:47:06

Nicosia, Sep 12 (CNA) -- Cypriot Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides confirmed today that the EU British Presidency and France held consultations on the content of a counterstatement to be issued by the EU as a response to Turkey's declaration of not recognising the Republic of Cyprus, noting that the French government immediately briefed the Republic of Cyprus on these consultations.

''We have been briefed on the points on which France has insisted,'' he said, adding that Cyprus thinks that these are positive.

''Whether they are enough or not is something to be examined,'' he noted, recalling that this issue will be discussed on Wednesday at the Committee of the EU member states' Permanent Representatives (COREPER).

The Spokesman noted that Cyprus' diplomatic services aim at achieving the best possible result to protect the interests of the Republic of Cyprus and expressed hope that the content of the counterstatement will make possible its unanimous adoption by the EU ''without offending the rights of the EU in general, or of an EU member state or of the Republic of Cyprus.''

To a remark that the British Presidency chose to hold bilateral consultations with certain member states but not with the Republic of Cyprus which is directly affected by this issue, the Spokesman said that ''it is fortunately or unfortunately a privilege of the Presidency to consult with any member state it wants to,'' noting that ''there was nothing implying that the Republic of Cyprus was ignored.''

He said the positions of the Republic of Cyprus were explicitly outlined during COREPER's meeting and the recent General Affairs Council in Newport.

''Our positions continue to be on the table and of course there will be further consultations and discussions during the next COREPER meeting,'' he added.

He noted that ''efforts are continuing, deliberations are going on and the government, our diplomatic services, pursue the best possible result to protect the interests of the Republic of Cyprus.''

Chrysostomides expressed appreciation for the efforts by many states, including France, ''for its insistence to have a counterstatement that will respond to the principles and goals of the EU in general.''

Invited to comment on reports about deliberations between the British Presidency and France, he said that it is a fact that there are consultations between the Presidency and member states.

He also noted that the French government tried to have some points included in the statement, adding however that the final text will be concluded during the COREPER meeting.

''If there is unanimity this will be the best development, if there is no unanimity then probably an extraordinary General Affairs Council will take place on September 25 or 26,'' he added.

Asked if there has been an agreement between Britain and France, the Spokesman said that there is no reason for a special agreement between the two countries, as deliberations will take place amongst the EU 25.

He said that France outlined some points that it deems necessary to be included in the counterstatement, adding that it seems that these points will be included.

Chrysostomides said that it is of no interest whether Britain and France have reached an agreement.

''What is expected is to have an agreement and unanimity at COREPER,'' he added.

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