European Parliament resolution calls parties to resume negotiations
by Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Dec 18 (CNA) -- The European Parliament has called on all parties, in particular Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership, to meet the criteria the UN Secretary General has laid down for them in order to resume negotiations for a political settlement.
The resolution notes with interest the outcome of Sunday's ''parliamentary elections'' in Turkish occupied Cyprus and hopes this is indicative of support for a comprehensive settlement.
''On the Cyprus problem, Parliament urges all parties, in particular Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership, to commit themselves to the UN Secretary-General's criteria to restart talks,'' the resolution said.
Kofi Annan has asked the two sides in Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, to show the necessary political will to commit themselves to the resumption of talks with a view at concluding them and putting his peace plan to simultaneous separate referenda.
The Parliament reiterates its preference for accession of a reunited Cyprus on May 1 2004 and stressed the importance of Turkey's expression of will to find a settlement.
On Turkey, it urges Ankara ''to make further sustained efforts at reform, regarding the exercise of fundamental freedoms, the alignment of civil-military relations with European practice and macro-economic imbalances.''
The Parliament agrees that a Cyprus settlement would greatly facilitate Turkey's European aspirations for accession.