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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-03-20

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Kasoulides - EU - Cyprus problem

  • 1935:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Kasoulides - EU - Cyprus problem

    Larnaca, Mar 20 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, urged Turkish Cypriots today to put aside past differences and work with the Cyprus team for accession to the European Union.

    Kasoulides had visited Germany, Austria and Belgium, for talks with his counterparts on Cyprus' bid for membership of the European Union. He said that such meetings "are efficient, because they provide useful information and advice".

    Speaking at Larnaca airport, the Foreign Minister said that Cyprus' accession to the EU "either before or after a solution to the Cyprus problem, will lead our compatriots, the Turkish Cypriots, to realise that it is irrational to insist on accepting what their leadership supports, i.e. the division of the island".

    In a message addressed to the Turkish Cypriot community, Kasoulides said that "we should not miss this opportunity of Cyprus becoming a member of the large European family, and they (the T/Cs) should start thinking now that the differences of the past must be put aside and to come forward and work with us for accession".

    Cyprus applied for accession to the European Community in 1990. Its accession process was finalised with the decision of the European Council meeting in Luxembourg in December 1997 which set March 1998 as the date for the start of the negotiations.

    President Glafcos Clerides submitted a proposal for the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the accession negotiations as full members of the Cypriot team which will negotiate the country's accession terms with the EU. The British presidency of the EU had welcomed the proposal but the Turkish Cypriots refused to accept any form of participation.

    Responding to questions, Kasoulides said that the EU and its current German presidency "support the initiatives of UN Secretary-General" Kofi Annan on the Cyprus problem.

    He said that after Turkish elections in April, when diplomatic efforts on Cyprus are launched, "the EU will support this diplomatic activity".

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

    CNA MAN/RG/EC/1999
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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