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Kasoulides: Stability is necessary in our part of the world
2002-10-16 01:26:20

Nicosia, Oct 15 (CNA) ? Turkey's aspirations to join the European Union and Cyprus' ambition to see the island united, are two desires which could become real at the same time and before the EU European Council in December in Copenhagen, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has said.

Addressing here today a seminar entitled "Spain and Cyprus: Facing the challenge of an enlarged EU", Kasoulides said that this would "bring stability, peace and prosperity to our citizens", adding that Cyprus aspires with its accession to the EU to fulfill what the founding members of the EU have dreamed regarding the European continent.

Stability, he added, "is necessary in our part of the world, and I am talking about Greece, Turkey and Cyprus". |
He said Cyprus enjoys excellent relations with all its neighbours and particular the Arab countries and Israel, playing a political role as a friend of both in this particular part of the world, and using its geographical position.

Referring to the Cyprus problem, Kasoulides said the Greek Cypriot side has demonstrated "during the past 28 years that we are trying to see our country united and what we are doing is a compromise and a reconciliation" for the reunification of Cyprus. He remarked that there was never a single report of the Secretary General of the UN who is in charge of the efforts for a settlement in Cyprus, "in which the Greek Cypriot side is being blamed for the impasse and for the non-resolution of the problem so far".

"The efforts for a solution will continue up to the last day of Copenhagen and we will be positive and constructive as we have been, hoping that our desire to see our country united" is achieved, he added.

On his part, Chief Negotiator for Cyprus Accession to the EU, George Vassiliou said Cyprus' accession to the EU would contribute to a settlement of the Cyprus problem, pointing out however that no progress has been achieved so far at the direct talks on Cyprus.

He expressed the conviction the EU will deal with Turkey more positively if it contributes to a solution and if the UN submits a draft plan on Cyprus after the elections in Turkey next month.

"We fully support Turkey's accession to the EU. It is to our advantage that Turkey becomes a democratic country because this will lead to a Cyprus settlement", he added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island's northern third. The European Commission decided that Cyprus, among with other member states, can finalise accession negotiations by the end of the year.

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