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22 August, 2000
Foreign Ministers of Cyprus and Greece, Ioannis Kasoulides and George Papandreou, will meet in Athens next week to coordinate efforts so that the UN-led talks for a settlement in Cyprus will go into the substance of the problem. During the meeting, to be confirmed for August 30, the two ministers will also discuss issues relating to Turkey's European Union accession partnership, expected to be decided in November, as well as relations between Greece and Turkey.
"The meeting in Athens aims at coordinating our actions on various levels in order to achieve our main aim which is for the Cyprus talks to become substantive," Kasoulides told CNA on Monday.
The Foreign Minister will be accompanying President Glafcos Clerides to New York for the UN General Assembly millennium summit and the Cyprus peace talks, resuming on September 12.
During his stay in the US, Kasoulides is expected to meet with a number of his counterparts.
The fresh UN-effort to reach a settlement in Cyprus, divided since Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of its territory in 1974, opened last December.
Reppas says Cyprus problem is still a top priority for Greek foreign policy:
The Cyprus problem continues to be one of the Greek government's top priorities, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas reaffirmed on Monday, commenting on the statements of Cyprus Parliament Speaker Spyros Kyprianou.
Kyprianou had said earlier that the "Cyprus problem has ceased to be a primary issue in Greek foreign policy."
Reppas pointed out that Greece had made its agreement to Turkey's European prospects at the EU summit in Helsinki conditional upon the unimpeded progress of the processes for Cyprus' accession course to the EU. He noted that relations between Cyprus and Greece within the framework of the joint defense doctrine were now developed as never before, and said that the recent activity around the Cyprus problem was a result of initiatives taken by the Greek government, which put the question of Cyprus at every international meeting it took part in.
Source: Athens News Agency