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Poos calls on Euro MPs to vote for Cyprus accession
2003-04-09 14:48:02

by Katerina Nicolaou-- Strasbourg, Apr 9 (CNA) -- European Parliament Rapporteur on Cyprus' accession to the European Union Jacques Poos called today on Euro MPs to give their assent to Cyprus' accession to the EU.

In his recommendation before the European Parliament's plenary Poos expressed regret that the latest efforts of the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for a settlement of the Cyprus problem were unsuccessful and noted that those who rejected Annan's plan for a settlement ''because they wanted two separate states to continue to exist are going to have to stand responsible for this before history.''

''With the signature and ratification of the Accession Treaty the whole of the island of Cyprus from a legal viewpoint will become a member of the EU. In fact, however, the jurisdiction of the EU and community acquis will only be applied in the southern part of the island for as long as the occupation by Turkey continues'', in the northern part, Poos said.

That is why, he added, ''the Accession Treaty does contain a rehabilitation clause enabling Council to negotiate on the basis of a proposal from the Commission for the necessary arrangements to ensure that the community acquis is implemented in the north once obstacles to unification have been removed.''|

''All of us regret the fact that the overall settlement of the Cyprus issue presented by the SG of the United Nations was unsuccessful. The constitutional structure that he suggested for a reunified island did correspond to a modern democratic federal model that would fully respect the cultural identity and the autonomy of the two parts of the island,'' Poos said and added that Annan's peace plan ''offered a European vision to the two communities of the island.''

He also noted that as Kofi Annan wrote in his report to the Security Council, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash ''despite of the profound changes that took place continued to hope that 'reality on the ground' would be legitimised one day.''

''In legal terms, there are not two separate states in Cyprus. Resolution 241/83 from the SC declares that the 'TRNC' proclamation is null and asks all members states not to recognise any Cypriot state other than the Republic of Cyprus,'' Poos also recalled.

He noted that ''the peace plan of the SG of the UN is still on the table'' and that ''many arguments are pushing both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and Turkey as well to try to overcome the obstacles that up until now have seem to be inevitable.''

Poos stressed ''the EU is ready at any point and time to welcome a reunified Cyprus on the condition that the rules under which it will be governed will be with conformity with international law and our principles.''

The EU, he added, can be proud of opening its door to a country which everybody would agree is European. Its cultural and economic value cannot be contested and will indeed be reinforced when lasting peace is installed in the Middle East.

As far as Iraq is concerned, Poos noted that ''Cyprus refused any military operations on its territory and said that it wished to fully support the common position adopted by European institutions.''

''I see this as being exemplary behaviour and I would recommend this to all current member states as well as to candidate countries,'' Poos pointed out.

He also thanked his colleagues in the Foreign Affairs Committee as well as the joint parliamentary delegation, ''who have provided me with indistinct support over the years.''

Furthermore he thanked the European Commission, particularly Enlargement Commissioner Verheugen, EU Chief Negotiator with Cyprus Leopold Maurer and EU Ambassador to Cyprus Andrian Van der Meer as well the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the EU, Ambassador Theophilos Theophilou, ''who have regularly and exhaustedly kept us up to date on how far the (accession) negotiations have gone.''

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.


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