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Vassiliou: The international community will submit documents
2002-09-03 11:17:50

Larnaca, Sep 3 (CNA) -- Cyprus Chief Negotiator with the European Union George Vassiliou said he expects the international community to submit documents regarding the settlement of the problem of Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974.

Vassiliou described as "very important" Friday's meeting in Paris between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, noting that it sends the message that the international community insists on progress in the Cyprus question.|

Vassilou also noted that Britain's special representative for Cyprus Lord David Hannay was "absolutely right" when he said in a written statement yesterday that "we are in a period of interactive consultations and negotiations which will determine whether or not a comprehensive settlement is reached this Autumn.

"This period is extremely crucial and we need to focus our attention on securing on one hand a smooth accession course and on the other to ensure that President Clerides has all the assistance he needs to be successful at the UN-led talks," Vassiliou added.

Asked about the meeting in Paris between Clerides and Denktash at the invitation of Annan, September 6, Vassiliou said he did not want to make any predictions but stressed the meeting was very important "since it gives the message that the international community insists on progress in the Cyprus problem."

"I am certain that the Secretary General will give this message clearly and I hope that a period of intense negotiations aiming at an agreement on the island's reunification will follow the Paris meeting," he added.

Invited to say whether the international community will put forward a solution plan in November, Vassilou replied: "yes, as far as I understand the answer is yes."

Clerides and Denktash have been engaged in UN-led direct talks since mid January this year with a view to reach a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

Cyprus opened accession negotiations with the EU in 1998 and is expected to be invited by the EU Copenhagen Summit in December, along with other candidate countries, to join the EU.

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