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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-03-24
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Friday, 24 March 2000
 Verheugen rules out possibility of separate negotiations with Turkish CypriotsThe European Union Commissioner responsible for enlargement Mr Gunter Verheugen, stressed that the Republic of Cyprus represents the island as a whole in the accession talks with the European Union.
Speaking on his arrival at Larnaca airport yesterday, Mr Verheugen said that the European Union would prefer a situation where the Turkish Cypriot community would participate in the negotiations, but ruled out the possibility of separate negotiations with the Turkish Cypriot community.
"We would never and can never accept a policy that would lead to separate negotiations with the two communities. We cannot do that and we will not do that", he said.
Mr Verheugen said that the purpose of his visit to Cyprus is to get direct information about the people, the political situation and the country. He will also discuss in detail "the state of play of the accession negotiations".
Cyprus is the frontrunner in the negotiations and has excellent relations with the EU, he said. He also expressed the view that Cyprus' accession process can facilitate efforts to reach a settlement.
Later in the day Mr Verheugen held official talks with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and today he will call on President Clerides. He is also scheduled to meet with the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.
Speaking last night at a round table discussion organised by the European Institute of Cyprus, the EU Commissioner said that in his meeting with Mr Denktash, he will ask "why it isn't good for Turkish Cypriots to have what is good for Turks in Turkey and Greeks in Greece".
"We prefer a process where accession and the UN talks can benefit from each other," he added.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/