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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-10-26

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <>

Friday, 26 October 2001


  • [01] Romano Prodi: Cyprus will be among the first candidate countries to join the European Union
  • [02] Cyprus and Libya sign cooperation protocol

[01] Romano Prodi: Cyprus will be among the first candidate countries to join the European Union

"The European Union lends its full support to efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem and salutes in particular the continuing work of Kofi Annan, the United Nations Secretary General, and his Special Representative, Alvaro de Soto. The European Union would be delighted if their efforts were to bear fruit before enlargement, though - as you know - this is not a pre- condition for Cyprus's accession," the President of the European Commission Mr Romano Prodi stated yesterday.

Speaking before the plenary session of the House of Representatives Mr Prodi, who is on a two-day official visit to the island, said that Cyprus will be among the first candidate countries to join the European Union.

"A political settlement before Cyprus's accession is our strong preference. But let me make one thing clear. Cyprus will join the European Union, and it will be among the first candidate countries to do so," he said.

Mr Prodi pointed out that the EU is aiming to complete negotiations with all countries that are sufficiently prepared by the end of next year, with a view to accession in 2004 and expressed the hope that Cyprus' citizens will vote in the European elections of 2004.

"There can be no question of delaying an historic process in which the security, stability and well being of Europe as a whole is involved," he said

There is a window of opportunity now for Greek and Turkish Cypriots to reach an agreement before Cyprus's accession and every effort should be made to take full advantage of this opportunity, Mr Prodi stressed, adding that "history would not look kindly on those who knowingly let this opportunity slip."

Referring to the Cyprus problem Mr Prodi said he believed that "a settlement is within reach" and noted that the European Union, with its acquis, will never be an obstacle to finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

"The European Union never seeks to determine the constitutional arrangements or the security arrangements of its member states. Such matters are up to them, he said.

He expressed the confidence that the European Union can accommodate whatever arrangements the parties themselves agree to in the context of a political settlement. "As an EU Member State, Cyprus will of course have to participate in the Council of Ministers 'with one voice,'" he added.

Mr Prodi underlined that EU membership will bring benefits to all Cypriots and in particular will enable the Turkish Cypriots to catch up rapidly in terms of economic performance and living standards. "Following a settlement both Greek and Turkish Cypriots will participate in the work of EU institutions, helping run the Union and shape its future," he said, adding that "projects involving both communities on the island can address specific problems, dispel misconceptions and improve understanding."

The President of the European Commission said that it would be inspiring for Europe and for the world at large, if Cyprus were to heal its wounds and if Greek and Turkish Cypriots were to enter the EU together on the basis of a settlement which took into account the interests and concerns of all parties.

He expressed disappointment over the rejection of UN Secretary-General's invitation by the Turkish Cypriot leadership to resume peace talks in September 2001 and added: "Despite these disappointments, however, the UN is persevering in its efforts and the European Union gives them our full backing".

Referring to Cyprus' harmonisation with the acquis communautaire, Mr Prodi said he was very pleased to see the high degree of consensus Cyprus has achieved on the transposition of EU law.

He congratulated the Cyprus Parliament for "working expeditiously" for transposing EU laws and rules and noted that "Cyprus is amongst the front runners in the accession process."

The President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides, Ministers, high-ranking officials, Ambassadors and foreign diplomats, including US State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston, attended the plenary session to listen to Mr Prodi's speech.

[02] Cyprus and Libya sign cooperation protocol

Finance Minister Mr Takis Klerides, returned yesterday from a visit to Libya where he presided over the third session of the Joint Cyprus - Libya Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation.

During his stay in Tripoli, Mr Klerides and the Libyan Minister for Justice and Public Security Mr Mohamed Ali Al-Masirati signed on behalf of their respective countries a protocol which aims, inter alia, at further enhancing cooperation between Cyprus and Libya in the economic field as well as in the fields of commerce, industry, merchant shipping and air and road transport.

During its deliberations, the intergovernmental committee, which was set up on the basis of the economic and technical cooperation between Cyprus and Libya, reviewed cooperation in various fields and examined ways of further promoting and enhancing the existing bonds of friendship between the two countries.

In the framework of his meetings in Libya, the Finance Minister also signed cooperation agreements on health and tourism issues, which will contribute, to the development of the two countries' relations. Moreover, an agreement for the mutual promotion and protection of investments was initialled.

From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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