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Papandreou, Grossman call for Cyprus settlement
2002-11-04 16:14:41

By Costas Iordanides -- Athens, Nov 4 (CNA) ? Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and US Under-Secretary for Political Affairs Marc Grossman have said they hoped that the time between now and the December European Council will be utilised in the effort to find a negotiated political settlement in cyprus.

"We hope that this time between now and 12 December would be taken advantage by everyone and that we can come closer and closer to a settlement in Cyprus", said Grossman.

Papandreou promised that "Greece will contribute to finding a solution, even after December 12, if we do not make it before Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU)".|

Grossman reiterated that the US supports Cyprus' accession to the EU and said Washington believew that accession is ''an incentive to solving the problem".

He also voiced US support for the UN Secretary General's efforts to find a settlement and for the EU decision in Helsinki that a political settlement would facilitate accession but it is not a precondition for it.

The American official said he associates himself with Papandreou's comments that setting a date for Turkey to begin accession negotiations with th eEU at the December EU summit "would be a further encouragement to keep Turkey tight to the West and on the path to the EU".

Papandreou said he had a "very good, constructive and substantive" discussion with Grossman, that covered Iraq and the situation in Turkey following elections there.

"We want to continue the Greco-Turkish rapprochement, which has yielded many positive results, we want to cooperate and solve longstanding problems, such as the Cyprus issue", Papandreou said.

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