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European Parliament Committee adopts draft proposal on Cyprus
2002-11-06 08:16:10

by Nicos Bellos -- Brussels, Nov 6 (CNA) -- A European Parliament Committee has made a particular appeal to Turkey to lend its full support to efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus this year.

The Foreign Affairs Committee adopted Tuesday a draft proposal on Cyprus' progress report relating to enlargement, which said that a political settlement should allow the country's federal government and parliament to function fully at an international level.

The Committee reiterated its hope that a reunited Cyprus under a single sovereignty will accede to the EU and said that a settlement should be in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

The draft proposal, to be put before the plenary of the Parliament later this month, noted with satisfaction that the Commission considers that Cyprus along with nine other candidate countries will be able to assume the obligations of membership within the envisaged timeframe.|

It said Cyprus must continue its preparations in accordance with the commitments entered into during the negotiations for accession.

The Committee ''shares the hope that a reunited Cyprus under single sovereignty will accede to the EU on the basis of a comprehensive settlement to be achieved before the completion of accession negotiations and that the terms of the accession treaty may reflect this settlement.''

The proposal said the Committee ''continues to back the active involvement of the UN Secretary General in reaching a political settlement in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.''

It recalls that this political settlement should enable Cyprus to participate in the decision-making process and the policies of the EU, and underlines that this implies that ''the federal government and parliament of Cyprus should be fully functioning entities at international level.''

Furthermore, the proposal stresses that the federal government must also ensure full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the whole territory of the island.

It supports the efforts of the Commission to generate and finance bicommunal projects and appeals to the Turkish Cypriot leadership not to hinder these efforts.

''It urges Turkey, in particular, to lend its full support to efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement this year.''

Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

The proposal said the Committee is convinced that in the event of a political solution, a supplementary budgetary effort will be required in order to facilitate the catching-up of the north of the island with the acquis communautaire and to contribute to the reconstruction of the buffer zone.

The Committee welcomes the fact that opinion polls indicate increasing support among Turkish Cypriots for accession to the EU and the European engagement of 90 non government organisations in the northern part of Cyprus.

Concluding, it reiterates the view that if a comprehensive settlement is not achieved within the given timeframe, the European Council of Copenhagen should proceed according to the Helsinki decisions, that say a settlement would facilitate accession but it is not a precondition for it.

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