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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-12-03

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Italy expects Turkey not to block Cyprus' EU course
  • [02] Cypriot minister comments on Van den Broek's remarks

  • 1020:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Italy expects Turkey not to block Cyprus' EU course

    Washington, Dec 3 (CNA) -- Italy has reiterated its support to Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU) and would expect Turkey not to put any obstacles to the process.

    This was stated by Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini before a meeting he had here Tuesday with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

    "Cyprus is a candidate for the EU. I think it has a strong backing from all members," Dini told CNA.

    "So, actually we expect that Turkey will not put any spanners in the wheels of the process for Cyprus to become a member of the EU," he added.

    Asked to comment on Turkey's participation to the upcoming European Conference, the Italian Foreign Minister expressed his country's support to Turkish involvement in EU enlargement.

    "Yes, we do support the participation of Turkey to the enlargement process of the EU," he said.

    "This has been our position and one that we have taken openly and we will continue to maintain, that Turkey should be part of the enlargement process," Dini added.

    According to the Italian Foreign Minister the large majority of EU members want to see Turkey associated to the enlargement process.

    "Whether this will take the form of a conference or whether the start will be with all the countries starting discussions for membership in the EU, this will be decided next week," Dini said.

    Ankara is demanding a place in a planned European Conference for members-in-waiting, but Greece has threatened to veto its participation at the December EU Council, in Luxembourg.

    The European Commission formally agreed July 15 to invite Cyprus for EU membership talks in the Union's first expansion into eastern Europe along with Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia and Estonia.

    Turkey, smarting at not being included in the envisaged expansion, threatened to unite with the occupied north of Cyprus if the EU went ahead with entry talks with the Cyprus government.

    The Commission offered Turkey a consolation prize by calling for deeper links closer to be developed between Turkey and the soon-to-be-enlarged bloc.

    CNA DA/AP/GP/1997

    [02] Cypriot minister comments on Van den Broek's remarks

    Nicosia, Dec 3 (CNA) -- Cyprus will not protest remarks made Tuesday by European Union (EU) External Relations Commissioner Hans Van den Broek that legislation of the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish-occupied areas need to become compatible.

    Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides told reporters here today the government "will not make any representations" regarding the EU official's statements, considering that these have caused no serious problem.

    He said Van den Broek had made it clear that "legislation" applied by the illegal regime in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus was not legal or internationally recognised.

    The EU Commissioner also made it clear he was speaking about de facto legislations and not de jure, Kasoulides explained.

    Van den Broek told a press conference yesterday, upon conclusion of two days of talks with the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, "different legislations de facto apply" in Cyprus today, noting "this is not recommendable."

    "If it is the wish of both communities to be a member of the EU as a federated Cyprus, then obviously there will be one law that is applicable to the whole of the island," he added.

    The Foreign Minister noted the importance of Van den Broek's statement was "what will finally be applied is the European law to the whole of Cyprus once the island will be reunited."

    "We are the ones to change our legislation and harmonise it with that of Europe and not vice-versa," Kasoulides noted.

    Kasoulides said the government believes the EU official's statements have not caused a serious problem, but he clarified he did not approve the phraseology he had used or his skepticism.

    He described Van den Broek's statement a "lapsus linguae" which the EU official later on corrected.

    "I don't believe it would be correct to ask for any clarification, as we would maximise an issue that in fact is non-existent," Kasoulides explained.

    CNA KN/AP/GP/1997
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