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Spokesman: particularly important day for Cyprus
2002-10-09 08:50:35

Nicosia, Oct 9 (CNA) -- The government said today is a ''particularly important'' day for Cyprus with regard to achieving one of the Republic's major objectives, that of acceding to the European Union. Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said the European Commission will issue later today its progress report on Cyprus and all indications are that it will be positive, but noted that the day is not for jubilations because there are still other stops on the way to full membership.

The spokesman said the correct policies the government has followed in this respect have yielded results, safeguarded the rights and interests of the people of Cyprus as a whole and has sent a convincing message to the international community that the Greek Cypriot side is ready for an honorable compromise to reach a settlement.|

''Today is an important stop for us and there are other important stops before we get to the end of the effort to see Cyprus join the EU,'' the spokesman said, reminding everybody that Ireland has to ratify the Nice Treaty, there is an EU summit in Brussels at the end of this month and the December summit in Copehangen.

The spokesman expressed satisfaction that the hard work done so far by the people of Cyprus, the government, the House of Representatives and others has yielded today's results.

''These results are the outcome of the correct policy we followed which safeguarded the rights and obligations of the people of Cyprus, as a whole,'' he said.

Papapetrou pointed out that this policy also sent the convincing message to the international community that the Greek Cypriot side is ready for an honorable compromise on a political settlement, with flexibility, good will and real disposition for a solution, in line with UN Security Council resolutions.

''This policy has kept Cyprus firmly in the right tract to implement the two major objectives we have set, the solution of the Cyprus question and accession to the Union,'' he added.

Tomorrow the European Commission delegation head here Adrian van der Meer will hand a copy of the 130-page progress report to President Glafcos Clerides and on Friday there will be an extraordinary cabinet meeting to discuss future strategy.

The Commission will issue today its strategy report entitled ''Towards the enlarged Union'' which includes a particular appeal on Ankara to lend full support to the UN effort to reach a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.

Invited to comment on this call, the spokesman said that the report indicates in a diplomatic manner, albeit clear, that Turkey has to cooperate with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for a solution.

Replying to questions, he said Cyprus would have no objection if the EU were to give Ankara a date for the start of accession negotiations provided that Turkey responds in a practical manner to its obligations with regard to harmonising its laws and regulations with EU legislation and to contributing actively towards a settlement in Cyprus, as noted in the political criteria of the Accession Partnership between EU and Turkey.

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