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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-10-19

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos leaves this afternoon for Finland to participate in the European Union informal European Council that will take place in the coastal town of Lahti.

    President Papadopoulos will be accompanied by the Director of his Diplomatic Office Ambassador Tasos Tzionis.

    Tomorrow, the Cypriot President will meet with Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    The informal EU Council is taking place just a few weeks before the European Commission publishes its progress report on Turkeys EU accession negotiations.

    The main themes of the meeting will be the Unions innovation policy and external energy relations.

    The Heads of State or Government will also touch on the Unions immigration policy.

    Furthermore they will discuss the development of the strategic partnership between the EU and Russia in the presence of the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    The informal meeting of Heads of State or Government will be chaired by the Prime Minister of Finland, Matti Vanhanen, whose country holds the EU rotating presidency.

    Cyprus, which joined the EU in May 2004, has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    Turkey, a country aspiring to become an EU member state, does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus and refuses to implement the EU-Turkey Customs Union Protocol, which provides for the opening of its ports and airports to Cyprus.


    The EU is patient, but it does not grant any discounts to individual partners and Turkey must decide for itself which course it wants to follow, said Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik, after a meeting with her Cypriot counterpart Yiorgos Lillikas.

    According to a press release issued by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs after Wednesday`s meeting, Plasnik also said that the accession negotiations between the EU and Turkey, which started a year ago, have now reached a critical stage, adding that the question occupying us all is: Are we facing a deadlock scenario or will it be possible to avoid derailment? In its declaration of 21 September 2005 the EU made it clear that it expected Turkey to show progress with regard to the Cyprus question by 2006.``

    She further said that during its EU Presidency Austria had worked hard on proposals for a solution to the Cyprus question, adding that the adoption of the Financial Aid Regulation, which earmarked 259 million euros to promote the economic development of the Turkish-Cypriot community, had been a considerable contribution to this end.

    Referring to Turkeys European obligations, Foreign Minister Plassnik stressed ``too little has been done so far, indicating that Turkey has to use the time window that is still open, otherwise the name of the next station will be deadlock and it would require a great deal of effort to get back out of this dead end. The EU is patient, but it does not grant any discounts to individual partners. Turkey must decide for itself which course it wants to follow, continued Plassnik.


    Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs George Lillikas has had talks in Budapest with his Hungarian counterpart Kinga Goncz.

    An official press release says that during their meeting, on Wednesday, they reviewed bilateral relations and discussed the Cyprus issue as well as Turkeys European Union accession course.

    They also exchanged views on the future of Europe.

    Lillikas flew to Budapest from Austria, where he paid a working visit and held talks with his Austrian counterpart Ursula Plasnik.

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