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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-04-30
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Monday, 30 April 2001
 French Foreign Minister visits CyprusFrench Foreign Minister, Hubert Vendrine, ended a two-day official visit to the island on Friday, expressing support for Cyprus' EU candidacy whether or not the two sides reach a settlement over the Cyprus problem.
Speaking at a press conference with his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides, Mr Vendrine said his country supports efforts for a settlement to the Cyprus problem and expressed regret over Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's withdrawal from the UN talks aimed at reaching a settlement on the island.
But although Vedrine said a solution to the Cyprus problem was not a prerequisite to EU accession, he did note that the 15 member states considered it wise to examine their position on the issue again once accession talks were completed. He added this did not mean there was a hidden formula, nor that there was any bad intention on the part of the EU.
Mr Kasoulides on his part said that they had discussed the efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem as well as issues related to Cyprus' application for EU entry. He added that they had also discussed other issues of mutual interest such as culture and commerce, as well as the situation in the Balkans and the Middle East.
Mr Vedrine was also received by President Clerides.
This is the first time that a French Foreign Minister has visited the island since its independence in 1960.
 Swedish Foreign Minister refers to CyprusCyprus can become a member of the European Union, even if the country is not reunited, Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, has said, adding that the prospect of the island's membership would act as a pressure lever on the Turkish side to facilitate a solution.
Lindh, whose country holds the six-monthly rotating EU presidency, also expressed the hope that the UN will come up with specific proposals by this summer on the solution of the problem.
Speaking during a programme on Swedish television on EU enlargement, Ms Lindh said that while the EU cannot reunite Cyprus, it hopes that both the Turkish government and everyone in Cyprus realise that EU entry is in the island's interests.
She expressed the belief that there would be mobility in the Cyprus problem after the parliamentary elections on the island, particularly in view of the fact that Cyprus could gain entry even without there being a solution.
"I believe that the Turkish Cypriots, Turkey, the Turkish Cypriot leader will return to the negotiating table and through UN mediation we will have a peaceful solution to the problem", she added.
 Cyprus' new ambassador to KazakhstanKazakhstan supports and will continue to support a settlement in Cyprus based on UN resolutions calling for a bicommunal, bizonal federation, the country's Vice-President A. Kekilbayev has said, receiving the credentials of the new Cyprus ambassador to his country, Charalambos Ioannides, who is based in Moscow.
 Question on Cyprus in House of CommonsThe UK will continue to deliver a clear message of support for the UN Secretary General's efforts to secure a peaceful settlement to the Cyprus problem to all sides in Cyprus.
The British Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Baroness Scotland of Asthal, made this statement on 26 April replying to a question in the House of Commons on progress towards a peaceful settlement to the Cyprus problem as a result of the visit to Cyprus of the Foreign Office Minister Keth Vaz last month.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/