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Commission says Cyprus fulfils EU accession criteria
2002-10-07 14:46:45

By Nicos Bellos -- Brussels, Oct 7 (CNA) - The European Commission will announce on Wednesday in a clear manner that Cyprus fulfils both the economic and political criteria for accession to the European Union, while the final decision will be taken in December at the Copenhagen European Council based on the conclusions of the 1999 Helsinki summit.

The most important development in relation to Cyprus is the fact that the document, which was submitted by the Commissioner responsible for enlargement Gunter Verheugen, under no circumstances relates the Cyprus problem with the island's accession to the EU, neither does it imply anything in that direction.

Furthermore, the Commission does not dissociate Cyprus' candidacy with that of the remaining nine candidate states for which it will suggest that they all join the EU in the first wave of enlargement.|

CNA has learned that the substantial reference to the Cyprus issue in connection with the enlargement is done in the opening part of the document on the Strategy of the Community, which says in the absence of a settlement, the decisions to be taken will be based on the principles set out by the Helsinki European Council in 1999.

The European Commission avoids censuring Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash because, according to community sources, it does not want to make harder the efforts of the UN Secretary General at the ongoing talks. However, it is clear that it points to those responsible for the deadlock, the Turkish Cypriot and Turkish intransigence.

And this because in the Commission report it says that a solution should be in accordance with the decisions and resolutions of the UN Security Council, so that ''Cyprus can speak with one voice and be able to implement the acquis communautaire''.

It is also stresses that at times Turkish Cypriots who have supported a bizonal, bicommunal federal Cyprus were dragged to Turkish Cypriot so- called ''courts''. Because the Commission considers Turkey as a ''key'' player in finding a settlement, it calls on all parties and especially Turkey to intensify efforts to reach a settlement.

For the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus, there is a detailed presentation of the poor economic situation of the Denktash regime. According to the report, the financial crisis in Turkey has affected the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus through the introduction of inflation, which ranges between 70 and 75 per cent while there is reference to the arbitrariness of the occupation regime.

The Foreign Ministers of the EU will examine the Commission's reports on October 21st in Luxembourg and then the reports will be discussed at the Brussels European Council on October 24 and 25, where the 15 leaders will name the ten countries the Commission considers ready to accede to the EU.

The final decision will be taken at the European Council in Copenhagen on December 12 and 13.

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