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EU: Cyprus will be treated like any other candidate
2002-09-17 11:31:11

By Nicos Bellos-- Brussels, Sep 17 (CNA) -- Cyprus will be afforded the same treatment as any other applicant country for European Union accession, a spokesman for the EU Commission assured today.

The Commission, he said, relies on the EU Helsinki conclusions which say that a political settlement would facilitate accession but it is not a precondition for it.

Jean Christophe Filori, spokesman for EU enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen, made statements to this effect, in response to a Reuters dispatch from Brussels, quoting an anonymous EU diplomat saying that the EU might omit Cyprus next month from a long awaited list of candidate countries deemed ready to join for fear of upsetting the UN-led peace talks.

"Cyprus will have the same treatment as all other candidates countries," Filori said, noting that "the position of the Commission will be clear (on Cyprus) as it will for the other applicant countries."

Filori said "the Commission relies on the Helsinki conclusions, according to which a political settlement would facilitate accession but it is not a precondition for it, but all relevant factors will be taken into consideration."|

Cyprus is one of the front runner candidate countries for EU membership and expects the December summit to invite the Republic to join.

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