30 September 2002

Hurriyet: In ten weeks time the European Union will decide on the accession of new members, including Cyprus. In case it will be decided that Cyprus will become an EU member, how will this affect your Good Offices mission and the future of the high level talks?

Annan: The two leaders are coming to see me here, on the 3rd and 4th of October, for me to assess with them what progress has been made since our last joint meeting in Paris. We are going to continue our efforts and try to make progress as quickly as we can. If by the time of the accession the issues have not been resolved, I expect the talks to continue beyond the EU accession.

Hurriyet: If Cyprus becomes an EU member excluding the Turkish Cypriots, what do you think will be the future of the talks?

Annan: It will make things perhaps a bit more difficult, but the problem of the divided island will still persist and we will have to continue our efforts to try to find a solution. And if we do find a solution, then of course the E.U. will have to decide what it will do.

CNA: You gave some instructions to both leaders, in Paris, and last time we talked to you, you expressed the hope that it is going to be a give and take process. How were those  instructions were received? Has any progress made?

Annan: Alvaro de Soto is coming in today to brief me and I think I will have a better sense after I will talk to him. I hope they did make some progress and that they both will be here to tell me what they intend to do and what measures we are going to take to push the process ahead. So, I am not giving up hope, we are still persisting.

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