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Papandreou hopes for a reunited Cyprus to enter the EU
2002-12-18 15:37:21

By Nicos Bellos-- Brussels, Dec 18 (CNA) ? Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU) was clearly decided during the Copenhagen European Council, said here Wednesday Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, adding the question which is being raised is whether it will enter the EU united or not.

Papandreou made the statement during a press conference where he presented the priorities and programme of the Hellenic Presidency which undertakes the EU rotating presidency at the end of the year.

The Greek FM expressed hope that there will be a solution to the Cyprus problem and that a reunited Cyprus will enter the EU.

He further ascertained a dynamic towards this direction, which derives from the fact that Greece is a member of the EU and it has been decided that Cyprus will enter the EU while Turkey has chosen to become a member of the Union.

He pointed out that accession is something which Turkish Cypriots long for too and stressed that efforts for a Cyprus solution will not stop if no solution is achieved by 28th February.|

For Turkey, he added, Ankara has a clear opportunity following the Copenhagen European Council conclusions on the country and that it depends on Turkey to fulfill the political criteria for the road to open for accession. He assured that the Greek presidency would help Turkey towards this direction.

Papandreou said the European Commission would submit proposals regarding Turkey's relations with the EU, including the EU subsidies for the country while the Greek presidency will place Turkey among its priorities.

The Greek Foreign Minister said the Greek presidency's priorities would be the completion of enlargement, promotion of employment, combating illegal immigration and coordinating foreign policy action. It will also strengthen Civil Society Structures.

CNA/NB/EC/KN/2002
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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