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Pat Cox suggests EU contribution to UN-led talks for Cyprus
2002-05-09 17:25:20

Nicosia, May 9 (CNA) -- President of the European Parliament Pat Cox expressed here today the belief the EU could assist efforts for a settlement in Cyprus by exploring and clarifying some matters of how the European system operates.

Speaking before the Cyprus House of Representatives plenary Cox invited the Cyprus Parliament to nominate deputies that would attend as observers to the Europarliament's deliberations, once Cyprus draft accession treaty is signed.

Cox said European enlargement was the first among equal priorities for the European Parliament and that "the enlargement calendar will be observed." He noted that if there was a comprehensive settlement prior to accession "this would be the optimum condition but not a precondition."

Enlargement is irreversible, he said and added that Cyprus is part of the "that irreversible political momentum."|

Cox also noted that the EU would work very hard to ensure that arrangements reached between the two sides in Cyprus "can be reasonably accommodated by the acquis communautaire."

Furthermore he underlined that "if Cyprus can find the political will in the communities and the capacity to deliver a comprehensive settlement from the EU perspective it must speak and act coherently and sustainably with one voice."

President of the European Parliament, who met earlier today in Cyprus' Turkish occupied territories with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, said he had urged the Turkish Cypriot community to try and reach a settlement and seize the moment and assured of the financial solidarity the EU would bring to the Turkish Cypriot community.

Cox also suggested that if it should be convenient and appropriate for the two community leaders, currently engaged in UN-led direct talks they could invite the UN to ask the EU to explore and clarify some matters of how members states operate in the Union, without becoming directly involved in the negotiations.

"For example the necessity for a sustainable, predictable capacity to speak with one voice exists as an absolute requirement of the practice," Cox added.

The President of the European Parliament extended an invitation to the Cyprus House to nominate deputies as observers to the European Parliament, once Cyprus draft accession treaty is signed.

"These representatives will come to our special committees and to the plenary itself and tell their story. The only right that you will not have as observers is the right of vote which follows the act of ratification," Cox explained.
The President of the European Parliament noted that the southern part of Europe was indispensable and expressed hope that "it will really allow us to become a closer partner of Middle East."

Replying Cyprus House President Demetris Christofias said that "we will continue to struggle so that Greek and Turkish Cypriots, we will join the big European family with our country reunited."

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