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10 May, 2002
Cyprus' prospects of joining the European Union, the European Army and the Cyprus problem were three separate issues referred to Prime Minister Costas Simitis on the island of Symi, government spokesman Christos Protopapas stressed on Thursday.
Protopapas said that little progress had been made in relations between the EU and NATO with reference to the European rapid reaction force. The use of NATO planning infrastructure by the European force, whose members are also members of NATO, have so far been blocked by non - EU/ NATO - member Turkey, which wants to be given a role in decision-making for the EU army.
Regarding the Cyprus problem, the spokesman noted that this was now undergoing a particularly sensitive period - as shown by the planned visit to Nicosia by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.
The Greek government felt restrained optimism and wanted to believe that Annan's presence on Cyprus would bring positive results, he added.
Cyprus' accession prospects were a third issue referred to by the prime minister on Symi, where he had warned that there might reactions as the time for the island republic's to join the EU drew near.
The premier's message was that Greece was determined to act in order to bring Cyprus' accession to completion, perhaps within the term of the Greek presidency.
Source: Athens News Agency