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Clerides says Turkey to be given date only on condition
2002-10-11 13:49:48

Nicosia, Oct 11 (CNA) - Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides said he believes that if the European Union sets a date for Turkey to commence accession negotiations, it will only be done if certain targets are achieved.

Asked if he believes the European Union will set a date for the commencement of accession talks with Turkey during the Copenhagen European Council in December, President Clerides said he could not talk on behalf of the EU. However, he said ''if something is granted, I guess it will be a date which will be valid only if Turkey accomplishes certain things the EU wants''.|

Regarding the European Commission's progress report on Cyprus and its decision to recommend Cyprus and nine other candidate countries conclude their accession negotiations by the end of the year, President Clerides said it was ''a positive step but we have a long way ahead and we should be careful how we go about covering the period from now until Copenhagen''.

Commenting on press reports, the President said there is a lot of talk about UN Secretary General Kofi Annan submitting ideas on the Cyprus problem, adding ''it is obvious the UN Chief is expecting the results of the Turkish elections'', scheduled for November 3.

The President pointed out a statement by Annan that he had not yet decided if and when he would submit ideas on Cyprus problem.

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

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