|Author (Person)||Cronin, David|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.39, 25.10.01, p4|
COMMISSION head Romano Prodi and enlargement chief Günter Verheugen have decided not to meet Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas when they visit Cyprus today (25 October), even though they reject his recent allegations of bias against his community.
According to Verheugen's spokesman Jean-Christophe Filori, there would be "no point" in having an official meeting because Denktas had spurned calls for him to take part in UN-sponsored talks on settling the historical differences plaguing the island. "We are in no way biased against the Turkish Cypriot side," added Filori. "Our position is to invite the Turkish Cypriots to be present [at our meetings] as part of the official Cypriot delegation but Mr Denktas would like to negotiate separately. Mr Denktas leads a state that is not recognised by anyone, except Turkey. "A meeting with him could be envisaged in the framework of encouraging discussions on the settlement of the island. But the conditions for that have not yet been met."
During their two days in Nicosia, Prodi and Verheugen will hold talks with President Giafcos Clerides and several members of his government. They are expected to give a broadly positive assessment of the island's bid for EU membership.
To date Nicosia has closed 23 of the 31 thematic 'chapters' on which EU enlargement talks are based, making it a front-runner in the race to join the Union.
Commission President Romano Prodi and Enlargement Commissioner Günter Verheugen have decided not to meet Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas when they visit Cyprus on 25 October 2001, even though they reject his recent allegations of bias against his community.
|Countries / Regions||Cyprus|