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Cypriot President: Nicosia supports continuation of ratification process
2005-06-17 11:58:55

by Maria Myles

Brussels, Jun 17 (CNA) -- European Union leaders, meeting here today on the first day of their summit, did not agree on a common position with regard to the ratification process of the European constitution.

Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said after the end of tonight's deliberations that the Luxembourg EU presidency had undertaken to prepare a draft declaration, based on the prevailing view during today's discussions and present this for approval at Friday's morning working session.

He explained that most EU leaders agree that a declaration must be issued confirming their adherence to the European Constitution and saying that a period for recollection was necessary, which is expected to last several months.

The declaration, he said, must also note that those EU members that are already in the process of ratifying the Constitution, either by referendum or through the parliament, must carry on with these procedures while those countries that have decided on a date for the ratification must be free to decide through internal national bodies.

Papadopoulos said at an EU summit in June 2006 leaders will assess the course of ratification and draw their conclusions and then decide about the next steps.

Replying to questions, he said Nicosia supports clearly and categorically the continuation of the process of ratification, adding that the House of Representatives will discuss the matter on 29 and 30 June.

''I hope the House will ratify the Constitution,'' he concluded.

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