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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 99-11-22
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Monday, 22 November 1999
Speaking during an official dinner shortly after his arrival in Athens on Friday for a 24-hour visit to the Greek capital, Mr Clinton said in response to a speech by Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos:
"Mr. President, I heard what you said in your address. As you know I just arrived from Turkey. I must tell you that I deployed my best efforts to help you resolve those issues and to promote friendship and reconciliation. Talks on the Cyprus issue are due to begin. I must also tell you I will do everything on my part in order to have progress on this issue as well," he said,
Moreover speaking after a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Saturday, Mr Clinton said that a resolution of the Cyprus issue would be a good place to start towards reconciliation between Greece and Turkey.
He added that it was unlikely that Turkey could enter the European Union before its dispute with Greece over Cyprus is resolved.
"These two countries need to go hand in hand into the future, and the festering disputes have to be resolved in order for that to happen," he said.
He repeated Washington's wish for Turkey to strengthen its relations with the EU. The more these relations are strengthened the easier a Cyprus solution will become, he said.
Clinton said he had told the Turks on his recent visit there this week that solving the Cyprus problem was key to the region's prospects.
"I told the Turks... I do not think this bright future is achievable until there is a resolution of the Cyprus issue."
The US President said he was the most vocal supporter of finding a solution to the problem and that he would continue to be so.
Their talks are expected to focus on the UN sponsored proximity talks on the Cyprus problem, beginning December 3 in New York, and the upcoming European Union Summit to be held a week later in Helsinki, Finland.
President Clerides had a working breakfast yesterday with former Greek Prime Minister and honorary President of the New Democracy Party, Constantinos Mitsotakis.
Talking to the press afterwards, Mr Mitsotakis expressed the belief that there are now more prospects to settle the Cyprus problem then there have been in a long time.
"Apart from the US factor which has played and continues to play a major role, what is especially important today is Europe's role", he said.
The Council comprises representatives of 49 member nations, elected by the Conference for three-year terms, and is the interim governing body of FAO between sessions of the Conference.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/