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Papandreou says draft EU conclusions Cyprus ''fully satisfactory"
2002-12-13 09:23:44

Copenhagen, Dec 13 (CNA) -- Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou described as "fully satisfactory" the reference to Cyprus in the draft conclusions of the European Council in Copenhagen.

He clarified however that because of the developments with Poland on the financial aspect of the enlargement, the leaders of the 15 EU member states have not yet discussed the conclusions on Cyprus.

In the draft conclusion two different references to Cyprus have been included under the headline "In case of an agreement (six paragraphs)" and "In case of no agreement (three paragraphs)".

Papandreou pointed out the provision in the case of no agreement, that the parties commit to continue to negotiate with an objective of concluding a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem by 28 February 2003, on the basis of the UN Secretary-General's proposals, is a political commitment and not a legal one.|

Informing journalists on the discussions of the first working session of the "15", the Greek minister said if the negotiations were extended with Poland, it would be natural that the extension given by 4.30 pm local time to inform the Danish presidency about the results of efforts to achieve a Cyprus settlement will also be extended.

Answering questions, Papandreou said the decision of the 15 EU leaders to start accession negotiations with Turkey after December 2004 on the condition that it fulfills the Copenhagen political criteria "is not a bad decision, but it has been wrongly interpreted by the Turkish side".

He said the climate at the European Council is not in favour of changing the decision on Turkey. "I do not know if, with a solution to the Cyprus problem, the climate would change and improved", he remarked.

Regarding Cyprus developments, Papandreou said the UN continues to seek the signing of the "Foundation Agreement" put forward by the UN Secretary- General "and not a new document".

"We have responded positively to the UN to carry out proximity talks but we do not know if the other side has the same response", adding that "it is important negotiations take place with the person who is authorised by the Turkish side", Papandreou concluded.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has put forward a revised peace plan aimed at reaching a comprehensive settlement to the protracted Cyprus problem.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.


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