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FM: decision on Cyprus' EU accession should go ahead
2002-06-03 10:58:06

By Maria Koniotou-- Copenhagen, Jun 3 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has expressed the conviction that Cyprus will be among the countries to join the European Union in the next wave of enlargement and said the island's accession course should not be affected either by a possible change in the positions of the Turkish side or by any momentum in the UN-led peace talks.

Kasoulides said that June remains a target-date for the Cyprus issue and that if the UN-led direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash do not bear fruit by the end of this month, negotiations should not stop.

Referring to the Turkish position for "two states with separate sovereignties" in Cyprus, reiterated last week by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismael Cem, Kasoulides made it abundantly clear that the Greek Cypriot side will not accept such a settlement.|

The Foreign Minister, in the Danish capital accompanying President Clerides who meets later today Danish Premier Anders Fogh Rasmussen, also recalled that the EU stressed that it would rather have a reunited Cyprus speaking with a single voice in the Union.

Denmark takes over the six-monthly EU rotating presidency on 1 July. Today's meeting is taking place at the invitation of Rasmussen, who is also seeing heads of government from other candidate countries.

Kasoulides told CNA that the EU decision on Cyprus' accession should not be affected by a possible change in the positions of the Turkish side at the talks or by the continuation of the peace negotiations after the target-date of June.

He said President Clerides will brief today Rasmussen on Cyprus accession negotiations and developments in the Cyprus problem, as the EU is very interested in seeing this problem solved.

He announced that on June 6 Spanish Minister of State, responsible for EU affairs Ramon De Miguel, representing the current EU Spanish presidency, and EU Chief Negotiator with Cyprus Leopold Maurer and a representative of the forthcoming Danish EU presidency will visit Cyprus.

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