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Spokesman says draft counterstatement not overall satisfactory
2005-09-14 13:10:33

Nicosia, Sep 14 (CNA) - The Cypriot government seeks improvements on the European Union's draft counterstatement to Ankara's declaration that it does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus, Cypriot Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said here Wednesday in view of the EU Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) meeting, which convened to discuss the draft counterstatement presented by the British Presidency.

Chrysostomides said that both Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos and Minister of Foreign Affairs George Iacovou, in New York to attend the UN Millennium Summit and the General Assembly, are closely following the developments in the EU and are in constant touch with the Cypriot Permanent Representative in Brussels.

''Cyprus will continue today its diplomatic battle in the COREPER to achieve changes so that the counterstatement will satisfy our expectations and the prospects for the further promotion of the efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem, which constitutes our ultimate target and our firm intention,'' the Spokesman added.

Replying to questions, Chrysostomides noted that France's intervention in the COREPER deliberations ''inserted some important elements'' in the draft counterstatement.

''Our side does not consider the overall framework of the counterstatement as absolutely satisfactory for our side,'' Chrysostomides noted.

The Spokesman also said that if no agreement is reached in today's COREPER meeting then the draft will be discussed in a new meeting next Wednesday and if no agreement is reached, then the issue will be referred to the General and Foreign Affairs Council, some days before October 3, when Turkey is scheduled to commence accession negotiations.

Asked whether it was possible for negotiations to start without an agreed negotiating framework, Chrysostomides noted that ''if there is no agreed negotiating framework, the negotiations will not start.''

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