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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 99-02-01
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Monday, 1 February 1999
 Greece and Cyprus to co-operate closer on Cyprus' EU accessionCyprus and Greece have agreed to draft a memorandum of co-operation on Cyprus' European accession course.
This was announced on Friday at a press conference by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and Greece's Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who was on a three-day official visit to the island.
"We have decided to draft out a memorandum of co-operation to define steps in our meetings and other chapters. This will help our services to be more effective," Mr Papandreou said.
He noted the Cyprus question is not an issue which Europe wishes to avoid but Europe's pivotal philosophy is to deal with a solution in Cyprus.
"Cyprus' European course has given a new impetus to the Cyprus problem and this course is a big challenge for Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots," he added.
Speaking earlier after a meeting with President Clerides, Mr Papandreou also stressed that a solution to the Cyprus problem cannot be a precondition for Cyprus' entry into Europe.
He added that the message to Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots is that they are being given the opportunity to participate in accession talks but that this process cannot be halted.
"The choice is theirs. Either they join in this process at the negotiating table or stay out of it. We hope they take the first option," he said.
"If Turkey does not encourage the Turkish Cypriots to participate in the accession negotiations, that will be its responsibility," Papandreou said, noting that Cyprus may join the EU with or without a political settlement.
 Foreign Minister flies to BrusselsCyprus' Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides left for Brussels yesterday to begin a new round of talks, starting with European Union Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, Hans Van den Broek.
Speaking before his departure, Mr Kasoulides said that the new round of talks will also include United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, and the Foreign Ministers of various EU member states.
Kasoulides said he would discuss ways "to promote efforts to solve the Cyprus problem" as well as safeguarding "a stable EU accession course" for the island.
After Brussels, Kasoulides will fly to Athens, for talks on 3 February. with his Greek counterpart, Theodoros Pangalos.
 Clinton's bi-monthly report to Congress on CyprusIn his bi-monthly report to Congress on progress towards a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus question, covering the period 1 October to 30 November 1998, US President, Bill Clinton, has expressed his administration's commitment to a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation in Cyprus.
"Following UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's September 30 announcement of an initiative to reduce tensions and promote progress towards a just and lasting settlement, the UN launched shuttle talks between both communities in October."
The US President says in the covering letter accompanying the report that "during the reporting period, US officials urged the leaders of both Cypriot communities to support fully the UN initiative".
"They also underscored my Administration's commitment to finding a peaceful solution to the Cyprus dispute based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation", he adds.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/