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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-03-08
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Friday, 8 March 2002
 President Clerides meets with EU Commissioner for EnlargementThe President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides received yesterday the European Commissioner for Enlargement Mr Gunter Verheugen.
In a statement to the press after the meeting, President Clerides said that he had a very "constructive and sincere talk" with Mr Verheugen, during which they reviewed the programme that the European Union will follow in relation to enlargement and discussed issues relating to the future of the European Union. The President said that the proposal on which countries would accede to the EU would be ready by October 2002.
In his remarks Mr Verheugen praised President Clerides' personal efforts to keep the process of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem going, adding that all the European Union member countries and institutions greatly appreciated the work of the President.
Mr Verheugen said that the European Union's objective was to conclude the accession negotiations with the candidate countries before the end of this year. He noted that Cyprus would be included in the first wave of countries to accede to the European Union and for this reason the negotiations on the chapters that are still open should continue in full speed.
The EU Commissioner said that although the ideal development for the European Union would be the accession of a united Cyprus, yet the solution of the Cyprus problem is not a precondition for accession.
Finally Mr Verheugen noted that the timetable that the EU has set for enlargement cannot be changed and because of this the European Union hoped that the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus would reach an agreement at least in principle before the summer interval. In this way, he added, it would be possible to make the necessary budgetary provisions to include the needs of the Turkish Cypriot community.
 A Parliamentary delegation of the France-Cyprus Friendship Group visits CyprusA Parliamentary delegation of the France-Cyprus Friendship Group visits Cyprus
A delegation of the France-Cyprus Friendship Group at the French Senate, currently in Cyprus on an official visit, had a meeting with President Clerides yesterday.
Speaking after the meeting, the Head of the delegation Senator Andre Rouviere said that he was impressed with the progress made by Cyprus in all fields, since his last visit to Cyprus, in 1981. Before coming to Cyprus, the delegation had stopped in Athens for discussions with Greek Members of Parliament on how to approach Turkey, because it is evident that Mr Denktash does not have full freedom in taking decisions, he said.
Commenting on the threats of Turkey against Cyprus in the event of Cyprus' accession to the EU, Mr Rouviere said that as a European citizen he believed it was in the interest of Turkey to have good relations with the EU. When Cyprus accedes to the EU, the main negotiators will no longer be the President of Cyprus and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, he said, but the EU itself and Turkey. In addition he said he believed that Cyprus' accession to the European Union in 2004 would be a great victory for the island.
Finally, Mr Rouviere expressed the hope that the wall that separates Nicosia may disappear as quickly as did the wall of Berlin.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/