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Cyprus EU membership will increase chances for solution, says Fischer
2002-10-20 08:47:40

Nicosia, Oct 20 (CNA) ? ''If Cyprus becomes a member of the European problem the chances to solve the Cyprus problem will grow'', President of the Austrian National Council Heinz Fischer said, noting that the Cyprus problem is a complicated one.

Speaking after a meeting with the President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides, Fischer added that ''if Turkey is also interested in joining the EU, they know (in Turkey) that they have to solve some problems before a membership becomes thinkable and conceivable.''

Fischer said that President Clerides briefed him on the Cyprus problem and they discussed about the progress of Cyprus accession course to the European Union and the referendum held yesterday in Ireland for the ratification of the EU Nice Treaty.

Asked about the referendum, Fischer expressed his satisfaction about its results. He added that the results were expected ''but it is better if you have the results and not only the expectations.''

''We are very happy about the results of the referendum. And now the process will continue and we will greet Cyprus as a member of the European family according to schedule,'' the Austrian official said.|

Fischer visited yesterday, accompanied by the House President Dimitris Christofias the village of Pyla, where Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots continue to live together.

He congratulated the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot inhabitants of the village because they successfully manage to coexist proving that the two communities of Cyprus can live peacefully together.

Christofias said that he was happy to welcome the President of the Austrian National Council at Pyla, where people from the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities in Cyprus promote common understanding and mutual respect between them.

Fischer leaves the island today.

Cyprus, which opened accession negotiations with the EU in 1998, has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.

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