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Pat Cox: no external veto on Cyprus' accession
2002-12-09 10:45:55

Nicosia, Dec 9 (CNA) -- The decision on Cyprus' accession to the European Union will be taken at this week's summit in Copenhagen with no external veto, President of the European Parliament Pat Cox said here today.

Speaking to the press, he said President Glafcos Clerides during their meeting today outlined to him some issues he would like to negotiate on with regard to a UN proposal on a comprehensive settlement the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides received last month.

''The President indicated in headline terms a number of the issues that he would like to negotiate on and it is clear that he would like before any settlement to the matter to be able to establish the capacity to find an interlocutor in the process,'' Cox said after the 45-minute long meeting.|

He said President Clerides briefed him thoroughly about the peace process going forward.

Asked if he was more encouraged that an agreement might be clinched prior to Copenhagen, he noted that concerns the parties involved and the UN.

''My own attitude in politics is never to give up hope,'' he said, adding that he wishes to see a Cyprus, with its political problem settled, sign the accession treaty in April next year in Athens.

''The ideal would be for a settled Cyprus that would express itself in a single legal international personality joining the EU, but we do not live in heaven. The ideal is not always available, but we should try first,'' he added.

Asked if a political settlement is still no precondition for accession, Cox cited the EU Helsinki conclusions, pointing out that ''the EU position has never changed.''

''The decision will be taken on Cyprus with no external veto and we know how to interpret that and bearing in mind all relevant factors and we are now dealing with what that context phrase means,'' Cox said.

The President of the European Parliament leaves the island later today, having completed a round of meetings with parties involved in the UN peace process.

CNA MM/GP/2002

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