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Commission Vice President hopes united Cyprus to enter EU
2002-11-16 23:50:08

Larnaca, Nov 16 (CNA) ? Vice President of the European Commission, Loyola de Palacio, who arrived here today for an official three-day visit, expressed hope that the proposal submitted Monday by the UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan will facilitate the progress forward in order to have a ''full Cyprus in the EU.''

At the same time, Loyola De Palacio, who is also Commissioner, Responsible for Relations with the European Parliament, Energy and Transport, praised Cyprus for improving the quality of its fleet in the last year and adopting the standards which are demanded and are binding being a member of the EU.|

De Palacio said she was "glad that Cyprus has very much improved the quality of its fleet in the last year" and adopted the standards which are demanded and which are binding being a member of the EU".

She said she is on the island during "a very special moment for Cyprus and its future, it is a moment of hope, and I want to say we all hope that this proposal which is on the table, shall facilitate the steps forward, having full Cyprus in the EU, being full member in 2004".

The Commission's Vice President stressed "what must be said very clear, is that in any case, Cyprus shall be a member of the EU, and this shall be again manifested by the head of states and government in the next European Council to be held in Copenhagen".

This, she said, was "already said in Brussels at the last European Council and Copenhagen and it shall be again stated with concrete data".

"We hope that everything is going to happen for the best for Cyprus, the EU and for everybody", she added.

Welcoming De Palacio, Cyprus Communications and Works Minister, Averof Neophytou thanked her for her continued support. "She is here in Cyprus, in a special moment for both communities in Cyprus, the Turkish and the Greek Cypriot. We have in front of us an historic opportunity and we have to consider it very seriously", he added.

Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides will receive De Palacio on Monday.

She will also meet Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister, Nicos Rolandis and visit the Green Line that divides the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus with the government controlled areas of the Republic since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

Tomorrow Loyola de Palacio will make a presentation entitled "Cyprus Shipping ? At the threshold of the European Union: Challenges and Prospects", jointly organised by the Cyprus Shipping Council and IDEA group.

Loyola de Palacio will give a press conference on Monday before departing later that day.

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