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Cox says all stops must be pulled for a settlement before December
2002-11-12 12:52:49

Nicosia, Nov 12 (CNA) -- European Parliament President, Pat Cox, has said the UN plan for a Cyprus settlement is the best chance after decades of deadlock to reunify and enable a united Cyprus enter the European Union (EU), noting, however, that all the stops must be pulled to maximize the chances of a settlement before the Copenhagen European Council, in December.

Reacting to Monday's submission of the UN plan by representatives of the Secretary-General to Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, Cox said the Annan peace plan "is an historic and ground-breaking initiative" and the SG has provided the people of Cyprus "with a once-in-a-generation opportunity for a comprehensive settlement".

At the same time, it provides "the best chances after decades of deadlock both for reunification and for enabling a united Cyprus to join the EU", Cox said.|

The EU Parliament president said "it is now up to the leaders of both communities to seize this unique opportunity", adding that "it will require every ounce of the considerable reserves of wisdom and political and moral courage of which Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktash should be capable".

"After a lifetime of service to their respective communities", Cox said, "I do not doubt that they will rise to the task: they can count on the full support of the European Parliament".

Cox stressed "we must pull out all the stops to maximize the chances of a settlement before Copenhagen".

Cyprus is among the ten countries, which the European Commission recommended they could finalise accession negotiations. The island has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

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