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02 June, 2001
Cyprus' admission to the European Union would benefit stability in the eastern Mediterranean and facilitate serious negotiations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, US Congressmen have said in a letter to their President George Bush.
They also noted that Cyprus, as an EU member, would serve US and NATO objectives.
"We are writing to encourage you to make clear that the US supports Cyprus' admission to the EU, with or without a solution to the problem of the division of the island," a letter, signed by 45 Congressmen, said.
The island's admission to the Union, the letter said, "would be good for the stability of the region as well as for the prospects for serious and good-faith negotiations between the parties in Cyprus."
The Congressmen invite the president to reiterate his position that Cyprus can join the EU with or without a political settlement.
The letter comes after press speculation that the US may have some misgivings about Cyprus' accession to the EU prior to the island being reunited. Washington has said in public that it backs the EU Helsinki decision that a solution would facilitate accession but it is not a precondition for accession.
Source: Athens News Agency