The Middle East Quartet will meet in Amman on 22 June with the participation of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, EU High Representative for CFSP Javier Solana and European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten.
The meeting was announced by the President of the European Council, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who was replying to reporters’ questions in Luxembourg. Simitis was in the Grand Duchy for talks on Thursday (12/6) with Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker as part of his tour of EU capitals in preparation for the Thessaloniki European Council next week.
Following his meeting with Juncker, Simitis underlined that the draft European Constitution prepared by the Convention would serve as the “starting point” for the Intergovernmental Conference.
“The IGC should have concluded its work before European elections in 2004, so that European citizens are familiar with the draft European Constitution,” Simitis added.
Referring to the Thessaloniki European Council, Simitis emphasised the importance of efforts to combat illegal immigration. “It is imperative that we tackle economic and social problems and deal with the flow of migrants to Europe,” Simitis said.
Replying to a question on the Cyprus problem, Juncker noted that during his recent visit to Ankara he had made clear that “the political issue must be resolved by 1 May, 2004”, when Cyprus officially becomes a full member of the EU.