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Chief negotiator with EU optimistic on Cyprus report
2002-09-02 12:46:22

Nicosia, Sep 2 (CNA) - Chief Negotiator for Cyprus' accession to the European Union, George Vassiliou, said he was optimistic that the report, which will be presented by the European Commission in October on Cyprus' accession, will be very positive.

Speaking after being received by President Glafcos Clerides, Vassiliou, who leaves for Brussels tomorrow to discuss the report with European officials, said he will be briefed on the draft report, which will be the basis for the recommendation report on accession which the European Commission will make.|

"I believe that from the information we have and from what we have already discussed, we are on the right track. I feel optimistic that we will finally have a very positive report on Cyprus", Vassiliou told reporters.

During his stay in Brussels, Vassiliou will meet with various European officials, including Enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen.

Commenting on Friday's informal meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers, Vassiliou said the discussion went well, adding that it was "positive" for Cyprus.

Asked to comment on statements by French Minister of Foreign Affairs Dominique de Villepin that the EU prefers a reunited Cyprus to enter the EU, Vassiliou said "it is not a matter of what we want, but a matter of what is feasible, and bearing in mind the very negative attitude of the Turkish side".

He added that what the EU should consider "is to what degree our attitude helped the accession prospect, while the Turkish attitude was negative".

Asked if there were any problems in discussions on a Common Agricultural Policy within the EU, Vassiliou said that the issue would be raised in Warsaw before the end of September. He expressed optimism that any problems will be overcome.

Cyprus opened accession negotiations with the EU in 1998.

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