Foreign Minister Tuomioja: Finland is very pleased with Cyprus EU membership preparation

Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides visited Finland on 13- 4 June at the invitation of Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja. At their join press conference in Helsinki on 14 June, Tuomioja said their talks focused on the EU enlargement, particularly on the association process of Cyprus. "Finland is very pleased with the progress Cyprus has made in the enlargement negotiations", said Foreign Minister Tuomioja.

Cyprus began its membership negotiations in 1998, and the negotiations have proceeded speedily without any insurmountable difficulties. Foreign Minister Kasoulides said that the division of Cyprus remains an unresolved issue. "We are to resume the talks, and we hope that in 2002 we can reach a settlement", Kasoulides said.

During his two-day visit, Kasoulides met also with President Tarja Halonen, Foreign Trade Minister Kimmo Sasi, and members of the Grand Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament.