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Cypriot deputies satisfied with Washington contacts
2002-06-13 22:13:42

Washington, Jun 13 (CNA) -- A parliamentary delegation of the Cyprus House Foreign Affairs Committee has expressed satisfaction with the meetings they have had in Washington, as they wrapped up their two-day visit to the Amercian capital.

Committee chairman Nicos Anastasiades said he was pleased with the conversation he has had in Congress and elsewhere and noted in particular that US President George Bush seemed to have been informed about developments in Cyprus and UN efforts to solve the problem.

Anastasiades, heading the four-member delegation, said Bush recommended patience and insistence on the final objective of the peace effort.|

The Cypriot deputy handed over to President Bush a message from Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, which "aims at enhancing the central axes of our policy, underlines the determination of our side to show flexibility to reach an honourable and acceptable compromise on the basis of international community decisions, underscores Turkish threats anfd highlights the irreversibility of Cyprus' EU accession course", said yesterday in Nicosia, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou.

Anastasiades said during the meetings it was established that US officials support the UN peace effort and are monitoring closely Turkey's threats because of the prospect of Cyprus' accession to the European Union.

Ankara has warned it would react without restraint if the EU were to accept Cyprus in its ranks, without a prior settlement of the political problem.

In Congress, Anastasiades said, support for Cyprus' EU membership was expressed.

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Josef Biden, Anastasiades said, was critical of the positions adopted by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and Turkey on Cyprus and apologise for the US stance in 1974.

According to Athens News Agency, Anastasiades said that next year's presidential elections in Cyprus could be postponed if "we are close to a solution" and President Clerides' term in office may by extended.

The other members of the Cyprus delegation were deputies Markos Kyprianou, Takis Hadjigeorghiou and Yiorgos Barnaba. CNA DA/MM/GP/2002

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