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EU Commissioner Welcomes Agreement on Parameters on Cyprus Solution
2008-05-29 10:02:08

Brussels, May 27 – The European Union Commissioner responsible for Enlargement, Olli Rehn, has welcomed an agreement reached in Cyprus, on the basic parameters of a political settlement in Cyprus.

Mr. Rehn has also welcomed last week’s agreement between the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities to consider confidence building measures and encouraged them to continue efforts to end the deadlock.

“The EU stands behind a renewed UN process. We shall fully support both communities on the island to make the necessary compromises,” he told the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee today, which met in Brussels.

Welcoming the meeting of the leaders of the two communities last Friday, he said that “their joint statement shows that the process towards a settlement of the Cyprus issue under UN auspices is well underway. It is a positive sign that the leaders agree on the basic parameters of a united Cyprus as a ''bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality, as defined by relevant Security Council resolutions''.

“I am glad to note their agreement to consider civilian and military confidence-building measures; and to pursue the opening of Limnitis/Yeshilirmak and other crossing points. I encourage the leaders of the two communities to continue their efforts to end the deadlock,” he added.

He also said he had confidence that “Turkey will fully contribute to a solution.”

“Reaching a comprehensive settlement will have an immense value to all of us who want to see an end to this 40-year-old conflict on a European soil, and it will certainly have a positive effect on the negotiations with Turkey,” he concluded.

On Turkey’s EU accession course, the Commissioner called for more progress in reforms in line with the EU rules and regulations.

Six chapters have been opened since the start of Turkey’s accession talks in 2005 and two more are set to open by the end of June, on company law and intellectual property.

Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat met last Friday and reaffirmed their commitment to a “bizonal bicommunal federation with political equality, as defined by relevant Security Council resolutions.”

The two leaders agreed to meet in late June to review progress at bicommunal teams of experts which are discussing various aspects of the Cyprus question, to prepare the ground for substantive negotiations, leading to a political settlement that will reunite Cyprus, divided since Turkish troops invaded in 1974.

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