Spokesman says Cyprus an integral part of Europe
Nicosia, May 28 (CNA) - Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said
today that Cyprus is an integral part of European civilisation and principles.
Commenting on statements by Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who said Cyprus was not part of Europe and that the European Union should not become involved in the Cyprus problem, Papapetrou said it was obvious Ecevit "lacks rudimentary knowledge on history and civilisation".
"In his only interview after being admitted to hospital, Ecevit attacked the EU, showing once again that he was not aware the EU could act as a catalyst", which could "help us overcome our differences and coexist peacefully in this region", Papapetrou said.|
He added it was sad that the Turkish Prime Minister always judged things by their size and military power.
"What counts", he said, "is how each of us embraces the values and principles of Europe, how effectively we harmonise ourselves with the acquis communautaire and how the accession process responds to the expectations of the EU itself".
Papapetrou noted that Cyprus has always exhibited an excellent performance in its harmonisation process and expressed hope that Ecevit would have second thoughts and reevaluate his unfruitful approach.
Asked if Ecevit's positions were in tune with the interests of great powers, Papapetrou said no interests were able to obstruct Cyprus' EU accession process or facilitate Turkey's approach to the EU without meeting EU demands.
Cyprus opened accession negotiations with the EU in 1998, and has so far provisionally closed 27 out of 31 chapters of the acquis communautaire.
The island has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.