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Brussels, 6 septembre 2001

Statement by Enlargement Commissioner Günter Verheugen on Cyprus

"The European Commission has contributed actively to the efforts of the UN Secretary General to bring about a resumption of the talks aimed at finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. My meeting with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Mr Denktash, in Zurich on 27 August underlined the EU's clear preference for a solution to be reached before enlargement, although this is not pre-condition for Cyprus's accession. Against this background I am very disappointed that Mr Denktash has not accepted the UN Secretary General's invitation to talks on 12 September. The Commission considers that the window of opportunity for reaching a solution before accession remains open and encourages all interested parties to undertake all efforts with this aim in view."

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