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Moeller: EU to consider all relevant factors on Cyprus
2002-12-03 15:01:42

Nicosia, Dec 3 (CNA) ? Danish Foreign Minister, Per Stig Moeller said the European Council decision on Cyprus is to take into account all relevant factors stressing that "we will do that".

Speaking after meeting opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis in the Greek capital, Moeller was asked whether a solution to the Cyprus problem is a pre-requisite for the island's accession. According to the Athens News Agency (ANA), the Danish FM said he could not give a clear answer to the question.

He referred to the 1999 Helsinki European Council conclusions, which said that if Cyprus was not reunited during accession, then everything would be taken into consideration.|

The European Council had underlined "that a political settlement will facilitate the accession of Cyprus to the European Union and if no settlement had been reached by the completion of accession negotiations, the Council's decision on accession will be made without the above being a precondition. In this the Council will take account of all relevant factors".

Moeller said both he and Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen were touring capitals to take all relevant factors into consideration and whether there were any hopes to reunify the island.

Moeller said however that he thinks, "that there is a very good opportunity that we will have an agreement on Cyprus before the end of the meeting in Copenhagen".

To a remark that the Greek government may exercise its right to veto enlargement if Cyprus is not included, Moeller replied he was aware of that, adding that the Greek government will be faced with the problems that will arise if enlargement does not take place, ANA added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.

The UN Secretary-General submitted a blueprint for a settlement last month to the two sides on the island hoping that an agreement will be reached before the Copenhagen European Council, which will decide on enlargement.

CNA/EC/ΜΚ/2002
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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