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EU wants to see Cyprus participating to the Europarliament's elections
2002-05-23 14:49:51

Nicosia, May 23 (CNA) -- Spanish Ambassador to Cyprus Ignacio Garcia Valdecasas has stressed on behalf of the EU Spanish Presidency, that the EU would like to see Cyprus participating to the 2004 European Parliament elections, as a member state of the Union.

Speaking, here, at the 21st meeting of the EU-Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) Valdecasas said that the accession process serves as a catalyst to the efforts for a solution to the problem of Cyprus, divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.|

Valdecasas underlined Cyprus' contribution to the settlement of the issue of the 13 Palestinians, brought to Cyprus as part of the settlement to lift the siege on Bethlehem's Nativity Church, as well as the importance of Cyprus' contribution to the Euro Mediterranean partnership.

Twelve of the 13 Palestinians are now in European countries that agreed to take them in.

On behalf of the European Commission Director of the Enlargement General Directorate of the European Commission Michael Leigh said the accession process and direct talks were two separate issues.

He also said that the acquis communautaire is not an obstacle to the solution of the Cyprus problem but stressed that after a solution Cyprus should "speak and function with a single voice".

Cyprus opened accession negotiations with the EU in 1998. In its bid to normalise its legislation with the acquis communautaire, Cyprus has provisionally closed 27 out of 31 chapters.

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