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Kasoulides says solution must take into account sensitivities
2002-11-27 10:56:25

by Kyriakos Tsioupras London, Nov 27 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has stressed that no political settlement in Cyprus can work out unless there is political will on the part of the island's two communities and unless it is functional and it takes into account the sensitivities of public opinion.

Addressing a gathering of some 70 British deputies, he also said that Turkey's desire to join the European Union and Cyprus' desire to reunite the country would definitely converge at some stage, sooner or later.|

''We have been saying all along that our policy has always been that we will be trying to solve the Cyprus problem even up to the last day before the EU summit in Copenhagen and most certainly after the summit decision,'' Kasoulides said.

He said that the solution must be based on solid foundations and outlined three things that are essential to achieve this goal.

''A solution must be functional and take into account the sensitivities of public opinion, which must be addressed. If there is no political will from both sides, even the best plan in the world cannot work,'' he said.

The Minister urged the parliamentarians to note that this is the time for Britain, a country with so many ties with Cyprus, to demonstrate these sensitivities to public opinion on the island.

''Let me assure you that we are going to be constructive and positive in these negotiations. I know for sure that Turkey's desire to join the EU and our desire to reunite our country will most certainly meet, whether they will meet before or after Copenhagen is not the big question,'' he added.

Kasoulides said that the people of Cyprus will expect a decision about the country's accession to the EU and expressed the conviction that this will not be denied to the Cypriot people.

''We have a vision of a reunited, peaceful Cyprus which will have relations with Greece and Turkey and will cooperate with other countries in an area next to the most volatile part of the world focusing on what unite and not what divide us,'' the Minister concluded.

The Minister is due to meet his British counterpart Jack Straw today in London.

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