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Poos satisfied with completion of Cyprus' EU course
2003-04-09 14:45:50

by Katerina Nikolaou-- Strasbourg, Apr 9 (CNA) -- European Parliament Rapporteur on Cyprus' accession to the European Union Jacques Poos has expressed satisfaction that Cyprus' European course is being completed.

Poos told CNA that in his recommendation today at the European Parliament plenary, which is called to give its assent for the EU enlargement, he will welcome the engagement of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to the process for a Cyprus settlement.

Commenting on the demand of Turkey to use the word ''Cyprus'' instead of ''Republic of Cyprus'' in the Accession Protocol that Cyprus will sign next week in Athens, Poos said that this has no effect on the vote of the European Parliament and noted that it is not possible to change the Protocol because the Minister of a third country sends a letter.|

Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul had asked the EU in a letter to use the word ''Cyprus'' instead of ''Republic of Cyprus'' in the Protocol, to be annexed to the Accession Treaty. Turkey does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus, since 1974 when its troops invaded and continue to occupy the island's northern part.

The Republic of Cyprus is the legal government of Cyprus and this is part of the UN acquis, Poos noted.

He said he did not expect any problems to block the way for enlargement and that "once the European Parliament speaks all others follow."

Invited to express his view on the next steps for the Cyprus problem, Poos reiterated that an opportunity was missed at The Hague but recalled the UN Secretary General's statements that his plan for a settlement remains on the negotiating table.

We are ready to accept at any moment a solution, embracing our principles, the Protocol and the acquis communautaire. If the two parties reach an agreement within the UN framework we will accept it. This could happen at any time, he added.

Poos said Cyprus is part of the EU and noted that the acquis cannot for the moment be implemented in the Turkish-occupied areas of the island.

Once occupation is terminated and we have an agreement, everything will be all right, he added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

UN-led talks ended in a deadlock in March after Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash declined a UN suggestion to put to a referendum the peace proposal.


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