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Accession will contribute to peace effort, says European Parliament
2002-06-08 23:05:18

Nicosia, Jun 8 (CNA) -- The Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament has said that only one single sovereign Cypriot state will be allowed to join the European Union and that the prospect of Cyprus' EU membership can help resolve the island's political question.

The Committee encourages Turkey, which continues to occupy Cyprus' northern areas, to support "actively" the ongoing direct talks, which began in mid January this year between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash with a view at finding a comprehensive settlement. It calls on Denktash "not to hinder the work of EU representatives."|

The progress report on the state of the enlargement negotiations with candidate countries, issued by the European Parliament, said that the Foreign Affairs Committee reaffirmed in a draft resolution that "only a single sovereign Cypriot state will be permitted to join the EU."

It notes that "in line with UN resolutions, this state may be bizonal and bicommunal" and adds that exceptions to existing EU laws can be accommodated but "there can be no derogation from the principles on which the EU is formed."

Welcoming the peace talks, the Committee said it hoped that the "prospect of Cyprus' accession will contribute to a new momentum for resolving the Cyprus question."

The aim, Euro MPs say, "should be to reach agreement by 2002 and they call on Mr Denktash not to hinder the work of EU representatives."

The resolution supports contact at all levels between the two communities but voices concern at the situation "in the northern part of the island as regards freedom of expression and the lawsuits and mounting pressure against some independent media."

Euro-MPs said the macro-economic climate of Cyprus continues to improve and its budget deficit has been cut and adds that 27 chapters in the accession negotiations have been provisionally closed.

"Progress still remains to be made on transposition and implementation, as well as on the adoption of a number of laws which are still outstanding," they said.

With regard to Turkey, the Committee notes that it is a candidate country but has not started accession negotiations yet and encourages the country to proceed with constitutional reforms and fully implement the pre-accession strategy.

"The Committee encourages Turkey to actively support the ongoing talks on the Cyprus problem," the progress report said.

The EU is expected to decide in December the names of applicant countries it will invite to join.

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