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EU German Presidency to contribute its utmost to efforts for Cyprus settlement
2006-12-28 08:56:13

Nicosia, Dec 28 - The European Union German presidency has pledged to contribute its utmost to efforts for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, in line with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and based on the principles on which the EU was founded.

This was stated by Charges d’ Affaires of the German embassy in Nicosia, Joachim Heidorn, whose country undertakes the next EU rotating presidency on January 1st, 2007.

“You can be assured that we will try to accommodate the parties involved whenever there is a possibility (for a Cyprus solution)”, Mr. Heidorn said before stressing that the Cyprus problem remains a serious concern for Europe.

Emphasizing the need to continue bicommunal talks, the German diplomat said that his country’s EU presidency would “surely emphasize the need to quickly start preparatory work for a Cyprus solution”.

“There have been meetings but unfortunately with no progress. We hope that under the UN Secretary General’s Good Offices, the mission can resume without any unnecessary delay”, he said.

He underlined that the Cyprus issue is not a burden for Europe, but noted that the EU “can function more easily, and can progress much quicker when the problem is resolved”.

If the Cyprus issue was resolved, he added, “we wouldn't have the obstacles that we face at the moment, obstacles that are normal as long as a negotiating process is not finalized. The Cyprus issue is not a burden for Europe, but a constant reminder that we have to try hard to solve this problem together.”

On the sanctions imposed on Ankara by the EU for its refusal to abide by EU rules and regulations and to implement its obligations under the 'Ankara Protocol' which calls for Turkish ports and airports to open to Cyprus, the German diplomat described the EU decision as “a very well balanced compromise”.

He added that the non implementation of the EU – Turkey Customs Union Protocol has consequences, but on the other hand the door remains open for Turkey.

"We will continue to negotiate. The EU decided that the screening process will continue and chapters for which technical preparations have been completed will be opened in accordance with established procedures, in line with the negotiating framework and based on EU principles”, he said.

On the German presidency’s priorities, he referred to the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome that established the European Economic Community (EEC).

On the 25th of March the EU heads of state and government will gather in Berlin, where a declaration on European values and visions will be signed.

Mr. Heidorn also said that since March 1957, Europe has achieved peace and security, “issues that Cypriots understand very well”, adding that “Europe should not be taken for granted, especially over values”.

The German presidency will focus on the economic, social and ecological future of the EU, aiming to make “industrial growth more ecological and sustainable,” he added.

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