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European Parliament adopts resolution on Cyprus
2002-06-13 21:58:27

Strasburg, June 13 (CNA) - The European Parliament today unanimously adopted a resolution on Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU). The resolution, based on a report by rapporteur to the European Parliament Jacques Poos, "reaffirms that only a single sovereign Cypriot state will be permitted to accede".

It also notes that the Cypriot state, "as provided for in the UN Security Council resolutions, may be bizonal and bicommunal, but it has to be a fully functioning entity at international level and must be in a position to exercise decision-making power".

The European Parliament "welcomes the fact that, since 16 January 2002, Clerides and Denktash have been engaged in intensive direct negotiations and hopes that the prospect of Cyprus' accession will contribute to a new momentum for resolving the Cyprus question".

The resolution notes that "the time factor cannot serve as a pretext for delaying the conclusion of the (EU accession) negotiations, which are due to be completed at the end of 2002".|

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash launched direct UN-led talks in January, aimed at reaching a comprehensive settlement.

Furthermore, the European Parliament is "firmly convinced that responsibilities for foreign policy, European policy, economic and monetary policy, citizenship, and security and defence policy must be delegated to a common structure".

In its resolution, it also calls on the two sides on the island "to continue to negotiate in good faith and, wishing to promote compromise and a spirit of conciliation based on the relevant UN resolutions, supports the statement by the President of the UN Security Council that 'the members of the Council share the view expressed by each of the two leaders that it should be the objective to reach agreement by June 2002 and that this objective is a feasible one'".

It also "maintains that, whatever constitutional arrangements the parties might lay down, the acquis communautaire, fundamental freedoms, and human rights must be observed in full, and that exceptions to the acquis resulting from a settlement can be accommodated in the accession framework, whereas there can be no derogation from the principles on which the EU is founded.

The European Parliament "reiterates its view that the conclusions of the Helsinki European Council, which Parliament has endorsed, will apply fully should an agreement prove impossible to achieve within the requisite timeframe".

It "underlines the fact that Turkey has to actively support the ongoing talks on the Cyprus problem in order for a just and lasting settlement to be reached in the near future, on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions".

The European Parliament notes that 27 negotiating chapters have so far been provisionally closed, making Cyprus "yet again one of the front runners in this respect" and recognises, however, that "progress in closing chapters has to be seen in the context of how well transposition and implementation are being carried out".

It also notes that "the alignment process has gradually accelerated, but urges Cyprus to pay full attention to adopting the considerable number of laws still outstanding".

Furthermore, it expresses its "deep concern at the situation in the northern part of the island with regard to freedom of statement and lawsuits and mounting pressure against some independent media".

The European Parliament calls on Denktash not to hinder the work of EU representatives, recognising their diplomatic status and allowing them to enter the Turkish Cypriot part so as to carry out their duties and contribute effectively to the development of bicommunal projects.

It reiterates its support for contacts, projects and dialogues at all levels between the two communities as necessary confidence-building elements and asks Denktash to "drop his opposition to such contacts".

However, it finds "in the recent meeting held between trade union groups from either side, as well as in the breakthrough meeting between political parties from the two sides, a reason for optimism".

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