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Verheugen: Agreement must be consistent with acquis
2002-11-05 17:24:23

By Nicos Bellos -- Brussels, Nov 5 (CNA) ? The European Commission is in constant touch with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan with whom it is discussing the political and technical aspects of a possible proposal on a Cyprus settlement, said European Union (EU) Enlargement Commissioner, Gunter Verheugen.

Addressing the EU ? Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee, which concluded its deliberations here Tuesday, Verheugen stressed that if an agreement is reached, it must be consistent with EU rules and regulations, fundamental principles and the acquis communautaire.

Verheugen pointed out that although he has not seen any written proposal for a Cyprus settlement, he was sure that if there was one, it would not be contrary to the acquis communautaire.|

The European Commission, he added, has an obligation to carefully examine in detail such a plan and make public the results of its analysis.

However, he pointed out that the EU would not prevent accession if the two sides in Cyprus agreed on a settlement.

According to the Commissioner, the contacts with the UN are taking place on a political level and on a technical level. UN representatives, he said, put a number of questions to the EU concerning the acquis.

Referring to the Copenhagen European Council, Verheugen said the EU would not change its deadline for Cyprus' accession to the EU if there were no solution to the political problem.

The decision for Cyprus' accession will be taken, Verheugen said, and naturally efforts to solve the Cyprus problem within the framework of the UN will continue, if there is no settlement.

Regarding the result of the elections in Turkey, the EU Enlargement Commissioner expressed hope the new Prime Minister will be flexible in efforts to find a solution, something which the caretaker Premier, Bulent Ecevit did not do because of his personal history, according to Verheugen.

While serving as Turkey's premier, Ecevit ordered his troops to invade Cyprus and has often claimed the political problem was settled once and for all by the division of the country.

Commenting on Verheugen's remarks, co-chairman of the joint committee, Tassos Papadopoulos said Verheugen clarified that the decision for Cyprus' accession to the EU will be taken at the Copenhagen European Council and that it will not be postponed because of a possible proposal the UN Secretary- General may put forward.

Papadopoulos welcomed Verheugen's statement that the EU expects the contents of any proposal to be in line with the fundamental principles of the acquis communautaire.

The meeting of the EU-Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee was the last but one and the last one before the Copenhagen European Council.

Papadopoulos will remain in Brussels to attend the voting procedure at the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on enlargement and to meet leaders of political groups as well European Commission officials.

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