© Copyright Embassy of Greece 1996-2005. All Rights Reserved.
17 December, 2002
The next step after Copenhagen and the decision for Cyprus' accession to the European Union should be a solution to the Cyprus problem, preferably within the deadlines, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Monday as he emerged from a meeting with President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos.
During the one-hour meeting, Simitis briefed the president on the events at the EU summit and also thanked Stephanopoulos for the part he played in achieving a good result in Copenhagen through his international contacts.
The government would work in order to bring about an end to the division on Cyprus and would seek a solution that was just, viable and functional, the prime minister added.
On the premier's arrival, Stephanopoulos expressed satisfaction at the summit's results and Cyprus entry into the Community, stressing that this was the first active recognition that right was on Cyprus' side. He also congratulated the government and Simitis in person for his success in a very difficult mission and the leader of main opposition New Democracy for his role in bringing about the desired result.
Gov't spokesman welcomes Cyprus' EU accession: Government spokesman Christos Protopapas on Monday welcomed the decision taken by European Union leaders in Copenhagen to allow Cyprus' accession to the Community without "asterisks and footnotes".
He described the decision as a "national success" that was the result of "correct and effective tactics" and congratulated the Cyprus government for its efforts to meet accession criteria and for its handling of the Cyprus issue.
Another important factor that contributed to the successful outcome in Copenhagen was the "broad national unity" on this issue, the spokesman added.
Protopapas stressed the need to continue efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem and pointed out that Turkey had received a number of messages in Copenhagen but also from the spontaneous protests staged by Turkish-Cypriots in northern Cyprus.
Regarding Cyprus exclusion from the European rapid reaction force, Protopapas pointed out that Cyprus would not have any army if the Cyprus solution were implemented.
Furthermore, the EU force was designed for peace-keeping missions outside EU borders, whereas Cyprus would now be a member of the EU, while this development was both known and accepted.
Karamanlis congratulates Cyprus over its accession to EU: Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis on Monday congratulated the people of Cyprus and the island republics leadership following a historic EU decision late last week to invite the country to join the Union.
Karamanlis noted that Cyprus fulfilled all the criteria for EU accession despite the unfavorable conditions created by the ongoing occupation of 37 percent of the island republics territory by Turkish troops.
In statements before deputies belonging to partys parliamentary group, Karamanlis added that a ND government in 1990 decided, in close cooperation with the government of Cyprus, for an accession course by the island republic, noting that another positive development lies in the fact that every government that followed promoted this goal until its fruition on Friday.
Moreover, he called for a unified Greek foreign policy strategy to be formulated, in light of tough negotiations expected to focus over the coming months on a Cyprus solution.
Finally, in a reference to Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Karamanlis said the former should now be certain that everyone wants to and can contribute to national efforts, before calling on Simitis to immediately promote legislation establishing a political party leaders council for foreign policy.
Greeks & Greek Cypriots to work for Cyprus problem resolution, FM spokesman says: Foreign Ministry spokesman Panagiotis Beglitis on Monday said that the target of the Greek and Greek Cypriot side, following Copenhagen, is to maintain the momentum for the continuation of negotiations for the resolution of the Cyprus issue.
He said that Cyprus' accession to the European Union has had a positive effect on the efforts to resolve the long-standing political problem of the island republic, adding that the efforts of the Greek side are not limited to the Copenhagen Summit, rather it will go through other stages during the upcoming period, since Athens and Nicosia will cooperate in the co-formulation and the completion of the financial package, concerning the social fabric of the occupied part of Cyprus.
Beglitis stressed that the framework of negotiations for the resolution of the Cyprus problem remains the same, as was set by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, adding, however, that this does not mean that effort should not be made to make changes or amendments to the text.
Source: Athens News Agency