EU Commission says UN should continue efforts on Cyprus
By Maria Koniotou--
Athens, Apr 17 (CNA) -- The EU considers that efforts for a Cyprus settlement should remain within the UN framework and recalls the principle that it is ready to accommodate a settlement and be helpful, Jean Christophe Filori, spokesman of EU enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen told CNA.
"We consider that a solution must be found within the framework of the United Nations. We understand that the peace plan of Mr. Kofi Annan remains on the table which is a good thing because we consider it as a good basis for a settlement and we still hope that it is going to be possible before the accession of Cyprus (May 2004) to have progress in this area," Filori said.|
Asked if the EU will get more involved in efforts for a settlement now, he noted "the United Nations is the only body with a clear mandate given by the international community to find a settlement and it should remain like this. We see no reason why we should question the role of the UN and it is absolutely not foreseen that the Union as such gets involved in the talks," he added.
Filori said the EU would welcome the beginning of fresh negotiations.
He noted that the EU has been regularly informed by the UN on developments and expressed the belief that this will continue.
The Commission official recalled that the EU encourages bicommunal projects on the island, noting that "we will come forward with new ideas in the coming months on how to further develop this approach of bicommunal projects."
Cyprus, who signed yesterday here the Accession Treaty, has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY