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Cyprus asks for Rehn's intervention as regards direct trade regulation
2006-06-21 17:42:24

Larnaca, Jun 21 (CNA) -- The Republic of Cyprus has asked for EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn?s intervention as regards the issue of the direct trade regulation, Foreign Minister George Lillikas said yesterday, in statements upon his return from Brussels, where he held a series of meetings with EU officials.

Lillikas, who held a meeting in Brussels with Rehn, said that Enlargement Commissioner assured him that the next EU Presidency (Finland) ?has already started some thinking and preliminary consultations'' towards this goal.

He reminded that the direct trade regulation (trade between Turkish Cypriots and EU countries) provides for the opening of the Turkish occupied port of Famagusta under the joint administration of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and under the EU control, as well as the return of the town of Famagusta to its legal inhabitants as well as a series of other things ''which we seek to implement.''

During the meeting with Rehn, he said they also discussed ways of implementing the financial aid regulation for the Turkish Cypriots, adding that they discussed in detail the Commission?s work and how the projects to be funded will be chosen, based on EU decisions, in order to serve the economic development of the Turkish Cypriots, as well as to enhance cooperation between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in collaboration with the EU.

?These steps should lead to the economic integration of Cyprus so as to serve our main goal which is the reunification of Cyprus in the framework of a future solution?, he noted.

Regarding Turkey?s EU accession course, Lillikas said that Commissioner for Enlargement expressed the view that ?Turkey?s negative stance creates a serious problem and it seems that the Commission's report (to be issued in October) will be especially aggressive towards Turkey?.

The Cypriot Foreign Minister informed Rehn that the Republic of Cyprus aims to use the period until October to persuade Turkey to respond positively and meet its obligations towards the EU and the Republic of Cyprus, so as to prevent a crisis in October.

He added ?it is obvious that if Turkey sticks to its today?s position then for sure there will be some sort of a crisis in the EU ? Turkey relations?.

Referring to his meeting with EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, Lillikas said that they discussed ''Turkey?s policy of constantly blocking Cyprus participation to various EU actions.''

Lillikas informed Solana about the Cypriot government?s position that all 25 EU member states should participate at the above actions and programs.

?Solana agrees with this position?, he concluded.

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