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Papandreou says messages from Turkish side not encouraging
2002-12-11 22:40:35

Copenhagen, Dec 12 (CNA) ? The messages from the Turkish side are not those expected at the moment, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou said, adding that there is a tendency on the Turkish side of retracting, which does not allow for optimism for a Cyprus settlement now.

Speaking to Cypriot reporters in Copenhagen after a meeting between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Papandreou said the solution of the Cyprus problem was one of the three aims of Greece.

"The messages from the other side are not the expected ones at this moment", the Greek Minister said, adding that "we see a tendency of retracting on the Turkish side and this definitely does not make us very optimistic about a solution, at least at this moment".

He stressed, however, that a substantive dynamic should be maintained.|

Papandreou said another Greek aim was a smooth decision at the European Council, which begins today in the Danish capital, for the accession of ten new members to the European Union.

"Of course, we are convinced that Cyprus will be in this wave" of countries to join the Union, he added.

Papandreou noted that both Greece and Cyprus have worked for many years in this direction and pointed out that Cyprus was the first candidate country to wrap up all the negotiating chapters of the acquis communautaire.

"Also in the effort to solve the Cyprus problem, Cyprus has exhibited in the most positive and constructive way, moves, initiatives and efforts", he added.

The Greek Minister concluded by saying that Turkey's European course should be maintained and expressed certainty that a European Turkey would be in the interests of Hellenism in general.

CNA/TT/RG/??/2002
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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