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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > From the Under Secretary > Remarks > 2002 Under Secretary for Political Affairs Remarks

Press Availability Following Meeting With Turkish Cypriot Political Leaders

Marc Grossman, Under Secretary for Political Affairs
Nicosia, Cyprus
December 4, 2002

Thank you all for coming out here this morning. I've had the good fortune to visit with some of the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot political parties. And as I did on the Greek Cypriot side with President Clerides, my presentation to them was a simple one -- which is to say that the United States believes that Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots have a great opportunity over the next few days to solve, to make progress on, the Cyprus problem. We believe that the combination of possibilities coming to Copenhagen -- Cyprus being part of the European Union, Turkey getting a date certain for accession talks to the European Union and a solution to the Cyprus problem -- is an opportunity worth taking. I've had the good fortune to listen to views of the various political parties. I was glad to do that and I found a considerable interest in what the Secretary General is trying to do and I was gratified that they felt that we, as the United States, are playing a positive role in this effort and I thank them for that. I have an airplane to catch and I'll be glad to take a couple of questions.

QUESTION: Sir, will this opportunity exist after December 12?

U/S GROSSMAN: You know, one of the things that people keep assuming is that we won't make it somehow. I'm an optimistic person. I believe that if people have good will and sense then we can make something happen on the 12th of December. We'll see what happens after the 12th. But, let's focus on the possibilities. Yes?

QUESTION: What is your expectation for the 12th of December? Are you expecting a solution or a framework agreement?

U/S GROSSMAN: We have supported Cyprus' accession to the European Union. We are in strong support of the Secretary General's effort to bring a solution to the Cyprus problem. We also believe that the European Union can take a step forward from its very courageous decision in Helsinki in 1999, by giving Turkey a date for its accession talks. So, if Copenhagen was to come out with these things, I think it might be quite useful and I think a very positive development for you and for others in the region. I'll take one more.

QUESTION: Are you expecting a conditional or unconditional date for Turkey?

U/S GROSSMAN: Well, we are not a member of the EU. All I can say is what we would like. We hope that the European Union will give Turkey a date. Thank you all very much.



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