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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-11-06

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 <>

Wednesday, 6 November 2002


  • [01] EU - Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee meeting concludes
  • [02] Deliberations on Cyprus escalate at UN Headquarters
  • [03] Cyprus will adopt euro the soonest after accession, says Finance Minister

[01] EU - Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee meeting concludes

The 22nd meeting of the EU - Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee, the last one before the Copenhagen European Council in December, drew to a close yesterday, after two days of deliberations in Brussels.

The two co-chairpeople of the Committee, Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos and Ms. Mehtilde Rothe, evaluated its work during the last ten years and communicated their satisfaction over the European Commission's 2002 progress report on Cyprus, which placed the country at the top position in the accession negotiations' list. They also expressed hope that a solution to the Cyprus problem could be found prior to the Copenhagen Summit; a solution based on UN decisions, the acquis communautaire and the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights of the Council of Europe.

Taking part in the meeting were, inter alia, the Cyprus Foreign Minister, Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides, the Enlargement Commissioner, Mr. Gunter Verheugen and the representative of the Danish Presidency of the EU, Mr. Knud Johansen.

Mr. Johansen, in his address before the Committee, noted that Cyprus had an advanced position in the negotiations and welcomed its "constructive stance" in the Barcelona process as well as its commitment to combat international terrorism.

With regard to the political issue, the Danish official said if no solution was found, the decision on Cyprus - to be taken at Copenhagen - would be based on the relevant Helsinki conclusions. In that case, he continued, all efforts for reaching a settlement must persist and "the door for a solution must remain open". Mr. Johansen clearly stressed that a solution should be functional, both internally and externally, at an EU level, where Cyprus must speak with one voice to be able to carry out the obligations flowing from EU membership.

That view was also expressed by the Cyprus FM, Mr. Kasoulides, who noted: "We have an obligation as a future member of the EU to carefully examine any plan in order to ensure that Cyprus will speak with one voice and be able to function within the EU and take decisions". He added that a compromising solution should be found on the issues of territory, refugees and properties, which must be in compliance with UN decisions, and expressed hope that a settlement could be reached prior to Copenhagen.

The Enlargement Commissioner, Mr. Verheugen, who also addressed the Committee, underlined that, at Copenhagen, the EU would not change its timetable for Cyprus' accession if no solution was found by then, and that the relevant Helsinki decisions would apply in such case. He added that the submission of a solution plan by the UN Secretary-General would not in any case cause a delay in the decision for Cyprus' entry to the Union and that the plan could not be in the form of "take it or leave it".

The Commissioner also made reference to important funds (206 million Euros for 2004-2005) that the European Commission was willing to provide to the north part of Cyprus for its restructuring and to give impetus to the efforts for reaching a solution.

The European Parliament's Rapporteur for Cyprus, Mr. Jacques Poos, also took part in the meeting, briefing the other participants on the EP's work regarding Cyprus' accession negotiations. Mr. Poos emphasised that a reunited Cyprus must act under a single sovereignty and have efficient decision-making mechanisms. He also called upon Turkey to give its full support to the peace efforts.

Other participants included the Cyprus' Chief EU Negotiator, Mr. George Vassiliou, and the Head of the EU - Cyprus Negotiating Team, Mr. Leopold Maurer, both of whom briefed the Committee on the present phase of the negotiations.

Some of the conclusions of the Joint Committee were, inter alia, the condemnation of the persecution of a group of Spanish journalists by the occupation regime in the north, on 15 October, and the backing of a proposal by the Famagusta Municipal Council that the EU takes the initiative of restructuring and rebuilding the deserted town of Famagusta in occupied Cyprus.

[02] Deliberations on Cyprus escalate at UN Headquarters

The UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, had a long meeting yesterday afternoon with his Special Adviser on Cyprus, Mr. Alvaro de Soto, with whom he discussed the Cyprus problem.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr. Annan said that his adviser gave him a "thorough" briefing on what he had been doing in Cyprus and the region, and brought him up to date on what the present situation was. It was then up to him, Mr. Annan said, to decide on the next steps to be taken.

Asked whether he had already decided on those steps, he noted: "If I had decided you would probably know, when I decide you will know…"

The Secretary-General had another brief meeting on Cyprus, on Monday, with the US State Department's Special Coordinator for Cyprus, Mr. Thomas Weston, and the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador John Negroponte.

Mr. Weston, who had earlier met with the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Mr. Alvaro de Soto as well as with other officials involved in the Cyprus problem, noted after the meeting that "obviously the pace is quickening". "There is an urgency to this matter which is recognised and I think it reflected in the activity of the United States both on the island and in New York", the US envoy added.

Asked by reporters on how the Turkish elections would affect the peace process in Cyprus, Mr. Weston replied that it was very hard to speculate on the direct effect, given that the government had not yet been formed. He said, however, that "it is always easier in a post electoral period to wok on difficult issues", and for that reason alone, "the Cyprus problem not being an issue in the election campaign it should be easier".

Commenting on the UN Secretary-General's meeting with the two US officials - Mr. Weston and Mr. Negroponte - the UN Spokesman Mr. Fred Eckhard told the press that the UN was "in a crunch now on the Cyprus issue", adding that the meeting was part of Mr. Annan's efforts, with support from many Member States, to try and maximize the chances of success in Cyprus.

"The year 2002 presents a real opportunity, although whether it can be seized or not depends on the two parties", the UN Spokesman underlined.

[03] Cyprus will adopt euro the soonest after accession, says Finance Minister

The Cyprus Finance Minister, Mr. Takis Klerides, said Cyprus would seek to adopt the Euro the soonest possible after its accession to the European Union, and would, therefore, have to implement the necessary policies to achieve full convergence with the Maastricht criteria.

Speaking before the meeting of Finance Ministers of the candidate countries, yesterday in Brussels, Mr. Klerides noted that the EU had taken a commitment to dispose a significant sum of funds to promote the development of the occupied areas on the island. These structural and cohesion funds, the Cyprus Minister continued, would contribute to the real convergence, in economic terms, of all candidate countries with the 15 EU member states, adding that Cyprus had already made the required arrangements allowing it to take full advantage of community funds.

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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