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EU Commissioner: Cyprus' accession will go ahead
2002-10-18 13:47:27

Nicosia, Oct 18 (CNA) -- European Union Commissioner responsible for enlargement Gunter Verheugen has made it clear that the EU decision on Cyprus' accession will go ahead, even if a plan for a political settlement is put forward on the eve of the December summit in Copenhagen.

He also warned against postponement of the decision saying ''everything will fall apart'' and recalling the EU Helsinki decision that a settlement would facilitate accession but it is not a precondition for it.

The Commissioner was addressing a meeting on enlargement attended by the chairmen of House Committees on European affairs of candidate countries. Cyprus was represented to the meeting by Tassos Papadopoulos, chairman of the House European Affairs Committee and two members.|

According to a House of Representatives press release, Verheugen said that even if on the eve of the European Council in Copenhagen (12-14 December) a proposal on the solution of the Cyprus question is presented, there is no way to postpone the decision about Cyprus' accession because ''everything will fall apart.''

He reiterated the wish of the EU that a reunited Cyprus join the Union, pointing out that there is a window of opportunity in the coming weeks and that reaching a settlement is a matter of political will.

Verheugen called on all interested parties in the Cyprus problem to make a last ditch effort to find a settlement, taking into consideration UN plans to submit a proposal for a solution after the November elections in Turkey.

Referring to Turkey's accession course, he said Ankara had known for months that there was never any question of getting a date for the start of membership talks and therefore its reaction to the Commission's response was not justified.

Turkey, he said, has made some progress towards meeting its obligations to the EU but it still has a long way to go.

In his remarks at the meeting, Papadopoulos said the Greek Cypriot side has proved its good will and readiness to achieve a settlement at the negotiating table, something the UN has acknowledged.

He reminded participants to the meeting that the UN, under whose aegis the ongoing direct talks take place, have repeatedly said that the solution must be detailed, comprehensive and self-executing and that nothing should be left to further negotiation.

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