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Clerides to attend meeting with EU candidate countries in Copenhagen
2002-10-22 18:40:13

Nicosia, Oct 22 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides leaves for Copenhagen on Sunday following an invitation by Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who will inform leaders of EU candidate countries on the results of the European Council meeting in Brussels on 24-25 October.

The Cypriot President will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, Chief Negotiator for Cyprus' accession to the EU George Vassiliou and Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou.| Rasmussen has invited the heads of state of government of the 13 candidate countries to the meeting with the presidency of the European Union in Copenhagen on 28 October. Commission President Romano Prodi, Commissioner for Enlargement, Gunter Verheugen and Council Secretary- General, Javier Solana, were also invited to attend. The Danish Premier has described next Monday's meeting as "the beginning of the final phase of negotiations with the candidate countries" and "a starting signal to the run-up to the finishing line in Copenhagen in December". Rasmussen said it will be short followed by lunch and that "enlargement will be the dominant item on the agenda for the European Council meeting in Brussels where the EU must decide which will be the candidate countries with which negotiations can be concluded at the end of 2002", according to a news update from the Delegation of the European Commission to Cyprus. He further said that the 15-member states would also have to find a common position on the unresolved questions of the enlargement negotiations concerning agriculture and budget. Spokesman Papapetrou said President Clerides will return to Cyprus on Tuesday, 29 October. Cyprus is among the 10 countries, which the European Commission has said it could finalise accession talks by the end of the year.

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