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18 June, 2001
Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides returned from Goteborg on Sunday, saying that the European Union Summit, which took place there, was "quite important, firstly because it was confirmed with a unanimous decision that the course towards European enlargement cannot be cut off, and secondly because they set out a timetable, i.e. that the countries to wrap up their harmonization by 2002 will be members by 2003, and in June 2004 will participate in European Parliament elections".
Speaking at Larnaca Airport, President Clerides said the Summit conclusions on Turkey, which urged the country to take concrete measures to implement the priorities of the Accession Partner-ship noting that in a number of areas such as human rights further progress was needed, "mean a lot to Cyprus, because the Accession Partnership says substantive and strengthened talks must be held on the Cyprus problem".
President Clerides said although Cyprus was a front-runner in accession negotiations, he would prefer Cyprus to accede along with other candidate countries.
He added that the Summit unanimously set out a framework "determining the course of those countries that will conclude their harmonization in 2002", thus enabling them to accede and sign the agreements, which will be ratified by the national parliaments, and in 2004 will have candidates running for the European Parliament.
The president noted that the whole of Cyprus would accede to the European Union, and said that if the island was still divided, due to the Turkish occupation of its northern third since 1974, then it may not be possible to apply the acquis communautaire all over the island. However, he pointed out "the same occurred in the case of Germany".
Source: Athens News Agency