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Kofi Annan set to undertake new initiative, says Solana
2005-01-25 10:24:16

by Nicos Bellos

Brussels, Jan 25 (CNA) -- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is set to undertake a new initiative on Cyprus when there is chance to reach an agreement between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, Javier Solana, High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy with the European Union, has said.

Responding to questions by Cypriot MP Nicos Anastasiades, leader of the rightwing Democratic Rally party, at the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, Solana said he had discussed this issue with Annan, who had informed him of his intentions with regard to a fresh initiative on Cyprus.

Asked by another Cypriot parliamentarian Yiannakis Omirou, leader of the sociademocrats EDEK, if the EU would give the UN its active support, should a new initiative get underway, Solana said the EU had done all it could to support Annan's effort to solve the question of Cyprus.

He noted that that particular effort had failed and expressed regret over the outcome of the latest UN effort. Annan's proposed solution plan was rejected by the overwhelming majority of the Greek Cypriots but approved by 65 per cent of the Turkish Cypriots, in a referendum last April. Annan had said the plan would be null and void if it is not approved by both communities.

Solana expressed hope that conditions will allow for a fresh initiative to unfold so that the EU does not have a border in its present form in Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

Cyprus joined the EU in May 2004 as a divided island with the acquis communautaire only applying in the southern government controlled part of the country. The EU has said that the entire territory of the Republic is part of the Union, even though the legal government is prevented by the Turkish occupation from exercising its jurisdiction over the whole of its territory.

Solana briefed the presidents of defence and foreign affairs committees of national parliaments of EU members attending the meeting about matters relating to his portfolio.

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