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EU-Cyprus Parliamentary Committee
2002-05-24 12:16:50

talks Nicosia, May 24 (CNA) -- The European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament have underlined, during the meeting of the EU- Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) in Nicosia, that the EU accession treaty for Cyprus does not depend on the outcome of Cyprus talks, Mechtild Rothe, Co-Chairwoman of the Committee has said.

"For the EU, it is crystal clear that the solution of the Cyprus problem is not a precondition for the accession", Rothe told reporters during a press conference today after the conclusion of the three-day deliberations of the JPC.

Regarding Turkish threats for tension in Cyprus, should the island enter the EU prior to a settlement, Rothe said that in the unlikely event that this should happen, then even if Cyprus is part of the EU or not, the EU would react.|

"If Cyprus is already member state of the EU and if the threats are realised, then the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU will come into force, just like when the interests of an EU country are at stake", German MEP Rothe stressed.

"I consider it impossible that a third country uses military means against another state, just because of a ratification of an accession treaty or a preparation for EU accession of another country", she said, adding that such an action would not be to the benefit of Turkey's European course.

Tassos Papadopoulos, Co-Chairman of the JPC, agreed with Rothe that any Turkish military attack against the Republic of Cyprus would threaten Turkey's European perspective as well as Turkey's current status in the EU, where the country is enjoying EU funds for several programmes.

Referring to Euro MP Jacques Poos' draft resolution on Cyprus that was unanimously adopted two days ago by the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy, Papadopoulos stated that the resolution indicates the positive climate that exists in the European Parliament on Cyprus.

Moreover, JPC Co-Chairwoman Rothe said that basically only half of the agriculture chapter of the acquis communautaire remains before Cyprus has successfully completed the negotiations for accession.

In its final statement, issued today, the JPC underlines Cyprus' important role in the Euro-Med process and agrees that the Barcelona Process was a key supporting measure in resolving the Middle East conflict.

Furthermore, the JPC members exchanged on the right to free navigation and trade, and discussed why the illegal Turkish embargo against Cyprus was still in effect despite Turkey's application for EU membership.

According to the Final Statement, the JPC has agreed to ask the Commission for clarification on this matter.

The issue concerning the continuing destruction of Cyprus' cultural heritage in the Turkish occupied areas was also brought up during the meeting.

"We agreed that it was important to draw up a cultural map of Cyprus which could be financed by and be under the auspices of the EU", the joint statement says.

The next session of the JPC will be held in late autumn to consider the next Regular Report of the European Commission.

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