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02 May, 2002
There was a crisis smoldering in Kosovo and FYROM, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said Tuesday.
During a meeting with President Costis Stephanopoulos, the premier briefed Stephanopoulos on his recent tour of Balkan capitals and his forthcoming visit to Belgrade, noting that all the Balkan countries wished to join the European Union.
Although that was difficult, Simitis said, "they must not be discouraged", adding that if their joining the EU would not be feasible in the near future, and those countries should be given a "safe timetable".
"They must themselves also try to adapt to the acquis communautaire, which is hard," Simitis said, citing a smoldering crisis in Kosovo and FYROM.
Simitis further briefed the President on his recent telephone contact with Xavier Solana, to whom he said that new proposals needed to be tabled on the part of the EU to resolve the issue of the Euro-army.
On the Cyprus issue, Simitis briefed the President on his recent telephone conversation with Cyprus president Glafcos Clerides, with whom it was agreed they would meet in late May or early June. Simitis noted that the final stage of inter-communal talks were slated to begin on May 7, adding that, according to what Clerides had told him, no essential progress had been made so far.
He explained that a Cyprus solution depended on the Turkish Cypriot side's conforming to the UN resolutions.
Source: Athens News Agency