NEWS

Simitis to visit Cyprus in April

Prime Minister Costas Simitis will pay an official visit to Cyprus soon after it signs an accession treaty with the European Union in Athens next month. Cypriot government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said Simitis would visit the island on April 18, two days after Cyprus and nine other countries are to sign the accession treaty. Following this week’s failure of UN-mediated talks to reunify the island, it appears that only Greek Cypriots will sign the treaty and join the EU in early 2004. But Chrysostomides yesterday assured the EU Commission’s envoy to Cyprus, Adrian van der Meer, that the Greek Cypriots will continue to work toward a solution to the problem after April 16. Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos leaves for the USA tomorrow where he is to undergo «routine medical tests,» his office in Nicosia said. The tests had been scheduled for November, but were postponed due to the Cypriot elections and the UN talks. Papadopoulos, who underwent throat surgery earlier this year, is due back late next week.