EU Presidency expresses full support for Cyprus settlement
Nicosia, Dec 12-- The European Union Presidency after Monday's discussions at the General Affairs and External Relations Council has expressed full support for the ongoing efforts of the United Nations Secretary General to resume negotiations for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem in line with relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and the principles on which the EU is founded.
In a statement, the Presidency welcomed the positive responses of the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot Communities to a letter of United Nations Under-Secretary General Gambari on the implementation of their July 8 agreement.
The Presidency emphasises the need to quickly start this preparatory work in order for the United Nations Secretary General's Good Offices mission to resume without unnecessary delay.
Furthermore it encouraged the two communities to ensure that the right atmosphere prevails for this process to flourish.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agreed on 8 July 2006 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 to the Cyprus problem.
Following the agreement, senior aides of the two leaders in Cyprus, Tasos Tzionis and Rasit Pertev, began meetings in the office of the UN Secretary General's Special Representative in Cyprus Michael Moller in the UN-controlled buffer zone to work out the modalities for the implementation of the July agreement.