The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Dr. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis paid an official visit to Iceland on September 17, in her capacity as chair of the General Affairs Council of the EU, responsible for enlargement. The main issue discussed during her meetings was Iceland's accession process.
Minister Marcoullis' visit to Iceland was conducted within the framework of the Cyprus Presidency’s priority on the enlargement dossier of the EU. During her visit, Dr Marcoullis held consultations with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Össur Skarphéðinsson, the Minister of Industries and Innovation, Mr. Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, with members of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Icelandic Parliament and the Head of the EU Delegation to Iceland Ambassador Timo Summa. She was also received by the Icelandic Prime Minister, Ms Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir.
"The policy of enlargement is a priority for the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU, and in this framework Cyprus fully supports the further advancement of Iceland’s accession negotiations," stated Dr. Marcoullis after her meetings.
The Cypriot Foreign Affairs Minister commended the political leadership of the country for the remarkable progress achieved so far and reiterated in all her meetings the determination of the Cyprus Presidency to achieve decisive progress on all remaining chapters. In this context, Dr. Marcoullis strongly urged all her interlocutors to redouble their efforts towards the obtaining of this objective.
Accession negotiations with Iceland are progressing well and at a satisfactory pace. Since the start of the accession negotiations in June 2010, 18 chapters have been opened, out of which 10 chapters have provisionally closed. Two Intergovernmental Conferences are foreseen under the Cyprus Presidency, in October and December 2012. The goal is to have as many new chapters as possible opened by the end of the Cyprus Presidency.
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