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Weston: US attach great deal of urgency to Cyprus solution now
2002-11-15 21:20:08

Nicosia, Nov 15 (CNA) -- The US attach ''a great deal of urgency to a Cyprus solution now,'' US State Department special coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston has said.

After meeting yesterday in Athens with Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, Weston stressed that ''It's very important that the proposals put forward? are intensely studied as the opportunity that it is: the opportunity that has no existed in this form for a long time and may not exist for some time to come''.|

He said that it would be ''very good to reach a settlement'' before the EU summit next month in Copenhagen, Denmark, when Cyprus and nine other EU candidate countries are expected to receive formal invitations to join the bloc in 2004.

''The alternative is the accession of the island without a settlement and some very, very complex matters for the EU to deal with,'' Weston noted.

The Greek Foreign Minister said that it is a very important moment for the Cyprus problem: ''We are not yet before a solution. We have a proposal from Mr. Kofi Annan.''

He expressed the hope that the Secretary General's proposals will form the basis for negotiations between the two sides.

Papandreou stressed the wish for a united Cyprus to join the EU recalling the EU decision in Helsinki that a political settlement will facilitate accession but it is not a precondition for it.

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