Britain and France reach agreement on counterstatement
by Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Sep 12 (CNA) -- Prior recognition of all EU member countries is a necessary component of accession to the European Union, the Union's draft counterstatement to Turkey's unilateral declaration that it does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus will stress, according to diplomatic sources in Brussels.
According to the same sources, the Union's British Presidency has reached an agreement today with France, regarding the wording of paragraph 5 of the draft counterstatement.
The draft text of the counterstatement will be presented by the British Presidency at the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER) this Wednesday.
According to the same diplomatic sources the draft text that has been so far agreed upon by Britain and France also states that ''the EU and its member states agree on the need to support the efforts of the United Nations Secretary General to bring about a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem and that just and lasting settlement will contribute to peace stability and harmonious relations in the region''.
''Prior recognition of all member states is a necessary component of accession. Accordingly, the EU underlines the importance it attaches to the normalisation of relation between Turkey and all EU member states as soon as possible'', the text adds.
The text of the Union's response to Turkey's unilateral declaration had been discussed last Wednesday at COREPER level, but the 25 Permanent Representatives had not reached an agreement on its wording.