European Commission welcomes resumption of Cyprus talks
by Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Feb 13 (CNA) - The European Commission has welcomed the resumption of the negotiations on Cyprus on the basis of a twice-revised solution plan proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, describing it as an historical breakthrough.
In a press release, the Commission ''welcomes the commitment made by the two parties in Cyprus to resume negotiations on the basis of the Annan plan''.
Commission President Romano Prodi said ''the Commission considers that the chances for a comprehensive settlement have never been better'', adding that ''it would bring to an end a division that has been there already for too long''.
''There is no place for barbed wires, minefields and peacekeeping forces in the European Union'', he said.
In its statement, the Commission describes the New York agreement to resume negotiations as an ''historical breakthrough'', which ''opens up the genuine prospect that a united Cyprus could join the EU on the 1st of May 2004''.
''It is the result of determined efforts by the UN Secretary General and all parties involved. The Commission underlines the assurances of the EU to accommodate the terms of a settlement and will provide any assistance needed for a successful outcome of the negotiations'', it adds.