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EU FMs say Cyprus will enter EU with or without solution
2002-12-10 09:27:45

By Nicos Bellos-- Brussels, Dec 10 (CNA) -- Cyprus will enter the European Union (EU) with or without a solution to the Cyprus problem, EU Foreign Ministers agreed Monday night.

Speaking during a dinner of the EU Foreign Ministers, Danish Foreign Minister and Chairman of the Council, Per Stig Moller, after listening to the positions of many of his counterparts, asked whether anyone objects to Cyprus' accession to the EU without a settlement to its political problem.

No one raised any objections and Moller said, "therefore I determine that there is no problem for Cyprus' accession". At this point, the discussion on Cyprus was completed.|

Yesterday's development is considered crucial for Cyprus since it is the first time that all EU members directly spoke in favour of Cyprus' accession. It is also an important test in view of the Copenhagen European Council, diplomats said.

Before Moller's question, many ministers, including Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and German Enlargement Commissioner, Gunter Verheugen underlined that Cyprus' accession should not be associated with the Turkish candidacy.

Verheugen announced that the Commission is preparing two scenarios one with Cyprus' accession and a Cyprus settlement, and another without a settlement.

In the first instance, the whole of the island will automatically accede, the acquis communautaire will be valid throughout the island, naturally with some technical negotiation, while the provisions of the UN Secretary-General's plan for a Cyprus settlement will be included and EU funds will begin to be channeled to the occupied areas.

If there is no settlement, the island's accession will be accompanied by a protocol, which will outline that the whole of the island accedes the EU but the acquis will be implemented in the free areas until a solution to the Cyprus problem.

Greek Foreign Minister Papandreou thoroughly briefed his counterparts on latest developments in Cyprus. He pointed out the "misleading", as he said, tactics of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, which have been going on not just now but over the years, resulted with negotiations taking place three days before Copenhagen.

He also referred to Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides' constructive stance, noting the Greek Cypriot side is ready to negotiate during the time left until the Copenhagen summit.

Papandreou reiterated President Clerides' position that the Greek Cypriot side will not go to Copenhagen to negotiate and complicate the two negotiations. If no settlement is reached before Copenhagen, efforts to find a settlement will continue after the EU summit, maintaining the same dynamic, Papandreou added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island's northern third.

The UN Secretary-General submitted a revised text today of his solution plan presented on November 11, aiming at a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem.


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