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EU says Papadopoulos-Talat agreement an ''encouraging signal''
2006-07-10 12:25:16

by Nicos Bellos

Brussels, Jul 10 (CNA) - EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn has said that an agreement reached Saturday between Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat was an ''encouraging signal'' towards reaching a comprehensive Cyprus settlement under UN auspices.

Welcoming the ''positive outcome'' of the mission of UN Undersecretary General for political affairs Ibrahim Gambari to Cyprus, he reiterated Commission's full commitment to supporting the resumption of talks as soon as possible.''

''The fact that the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, Tassos Papadopoulos and Mehmet Ali Talat, met three times in one week is an encouraging signal that dialogue has a chance on the island and that there is a perspective of re-launching a new process towards reaching a comprehensive settlement under UN auspices,'' he noted.

He added that the Commission fully shares the view of the two leaders expressed in the set of principles agreed between them that the status quo in Cyprus is unacceptable, that a solution to the Cyprus problem is both desirable and possible and should not be further delayed, and finally that the unification of Cyprus should be based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation and political equality of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.

President Papadopoulos and Talat agreed on Saturday to begin a process of bicommunal discussions on issues that affect the day-to-day life of the people and concurrently those that concern substantive issues, both contributing to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

The decision, which is part of a set of principles agreed, was taken during a three-hour meeting the two leaders had in the presence of Gambari.

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