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Verheugen says Commission to support UN efforts on Cyprus
2003-04-09 15:00:02

Strasbourg, Apr 9 (CNA) - European Commissioner on Enlargement Gunter Verheugen said today that ''the Commission regrets that the chance for a political settlement of the Cyprus conflict as part of enlargement was not seized''.

Verheugen added that the European Commission ''is prepared to support any further efforts by the UN to find a lasting political settlement of the Cyprus problem and will also do all it can to support projects in Cyprus that will help to prevent a further deepening of differences on the island and build trust between the communities''.|

Speaking before the European Parliament plenary session, which approved the accession to the EU of Cyprus and nine other countries, Verheugen said ''work in the candidate countries is not yet done'' and that ''everywhere reforms are still needed and preparations for accession to the EU must advance at full speed''.

He said the Treaty of Accession will have to be ratified by the old and new member states and expressed certainty that ''the referendums will all produce an unambiguous yes to Europe and clearly show that the European project is gaining in attraction''.

Referring to Turkey, Verheugen urged her ''to stay on course for Europe'' and said Ankara ''can rely on the Commission to make a fair and objective judgment''.


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