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Cypriot President sees progress on EU counterstatement
2005-09-16 11:44:05

by Maria Myles

New York, Sep 16 (CNA) - There has been no agreement yet among European Union members on the text of a statement with respect to a Turkish declaration but there is progress on the matter, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said here yesterday.

He did not however rule out the possibility of reaching agreement on an EU counterstatement to a unilateral declaration Ankara has made, saying that it does not recognise Cyprus, a member state of the Union it wishes to join.

Speaking to journalists at the UN seat in New York, he said there are indications that Britain, that is currently exercising the EU rotating presidency, would accept some of the suggestions put forward by Cyprus on the content of the counterstatement, pointing out however that there remained disagreements on the matter.

On the continuing consultations in Brussels on this issue, he said Cyprus had proposed some changes to the text presented to the EU ambassadors and added ''there are indications that the British presidency will accept some of them, nonetheless there is still disagreement.''

''I cannot rule out an agreement being reached but, at this point and following a briefing I have had from Brussels, we cannot say that there is agreement without ruling out the possibility of achieving one,'' he added, in response to press questions after he signed the International Convention on the Suppression of Nuclear Terrorism.

He said one cannot talk about a satisfactory text unless one sees that text, noting that Britain had said it could adopt some of Cyprus' suggestions but would not consent to others.

''We can talk about progress but not an agreement,'' he said and explained that one cannot seek to achieve everything within the EU.

Responding to questions about the signing of the International Convention, he said this was the 13th agreement Cyprus has signed that relates to combating terrorism.

''We cooperate fully in the fight against terrorism and have signed and implemented all the relevant conventions,'' he concluded.

President Papadopoulos is in New York to participate in the World Summit and the 60th session of the UN General Assembly.

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