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USA: Cyprus accession could serve as an incentive for settlement
2002-07-23 08:23:14

Washington, Jul 23 (CNA) -- US Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman stressed during his recent trip to Turkey that the United States believes that Cyprus' accession process towards the EU can be an incentive to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue, the State Department said answering a question about Grossman's visit to Turkey.

State Department spokesman's office said Grossman expressed the US support for the UN Secretary General's efforts to achieve a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus and the conclusions of the 1999 European Council of Helsinki, that a solution to the Cyprus problem is not a precondition for EU accession.|

The State Department said "while the United States is not a member of the European Union, we support the accession of Cyprus to the EU."

"Under Secretary Grossman stressed (in Turkey) that the United States believes the accession process can be an incentive to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue," the Spokesman's office noted.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

Herebelow is the text of the question and answer from the above briefing:

Q: During his recent consultation in Turkey, did Under Secretary Marc Grossman raise with Turkish officials the question of EU accession for Cyprus?

A: Under Secretary Grossman had wide-ranging consultations with Turkish officials during his visit there this week with Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz. While the United States is not a member of the European Union, we support the accession of Cyprus to the EU. Under Secretary Grossman stressed that the United States believes the accession process can be an incentive to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue. He expressed U.S. support for the U.N. Secretary General?s efforts to achieve a comprehensive settlement and the conclusions of the 1999 European Council of Helsinki.

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