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Hain says give-and-take necessary in Cyprus talks
2002-10-02 13:22:36

London, Oct 2 (CNA) - British Minister for Europe and Labour MP Peter Hain said today that there must be give-and-take on both sides for any negotiation to succeed, with talks on the Cyprus problem being no exception. ''Neither side is going to get all of what it wants'', he pointed out.

Addressing the Labour Party Conference, Hain assured that Britain remains committed to the 1999 Helsinki European Council decisions, that said a Cyprus settlement was not a precondition for accession to the EU, but would facilitate it.

Hain said ''a new EU, with a new Cyprus inside it, will be better for Britain and better for all Cypriots'', and expressed ''admiration'' for President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, ''who seem determined to leave a better Cyprus for future generations'', despite ''all the complications and the tragedy which the histories of our countries has placed in the way''.|

He noted that for any negotiation to succeed, there must be give-and-take on both sides and pointed out that ''neither side is going to get all of what it wants''.

Hain expressed certainty that ''it will prove possible to find a settlement which respects everyone's vital interests'', noting that ''there is still time to achieve the 'best case scenario', although the slowness of the progress is still of concern''.

''A reunited island within the EU is a win/win situation that would be best for everyone - for the UK, the EU and the region as a whole'', he said.

The Minister added that ''we want to see Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriot playing a full role in the institutions of an enlarged EU'', to which ''they have much to contribute as well as to gain from''.

''The original driving force of European construction, reconciliation between enemies to heal the wounds of history, is nowhere more relevant than in Cyprus'', he said, adding that ''accession by a reunited Cyprus would be an example to all Europeans of what enlargement can achieve''.

He added that ''we want Cyprus to be an equal partner in redesigning the future political architecture of Europe''.

Hain noted that ''enlargement will deliver a more secure Europe, based firmly on the common principles of the rule of law, democracy and respect for human rights, better able to meet 21st century threats, such as terrorism, pollution and drugs, which do not respect frontiers and which can only be defeated by cooperation between countries''.

Referring to the financial aspect of enlargement, Hain said ''we will become the biggest single market in the developed world, bigger than the US and Japan combined''.

''That means more choice for British and Cypriot businesses, investment and employment opportunities'', he said.

Hain pointed out that ''Cyprus already attracts 1,5 million British visitors each year and is a key partner for British business''.

Cyprus, which opened accession negotiations with the EU in 1998, has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

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