European Parliament welcomes UN plan on Cyprus
By Themis Themistocleous--
Strasbourg, Nov 20 (CNA) -- The European Parliament today welcomed the
plan presented by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to the parties to the
Cyprus conflict on November 11 and called on the Greek and Turkish Cypriots
to use the blueprint as a basis for negotiations and to conclude a framework
agreement proposed by Annan before December 12, when the leaders of the
European Union meet in Copenhagen to decide on the accession of Cyprus
and nine other countries to the EU.
At the same time, the EP called on the Commission of the EU to certify whether the UN proposals comply with the acquis communautaire, as EU legislation is termed in Brussels.
Cyprus was part of the overall report on enlargement tabled today before the EP which met in Strasbourg over the last two days. The report was approved by an overwhelming majority of 505 for and 20 against, with 30 abstentions.
The EP accepted an amendment proposed by rapporteur for Cyprus Jacques Poos to his own earlier report and also by Jannis Sakellariou, on behalf of the group of Socialists in the Europarliament, to take account of developments in the last few weeks.
Under the amendment, the EP "welcomes the detailed plan for a political settlement presented to the parties by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 11 November 2002 and calls on both parties to use the plan as a basis for negotiations and to arrive at a framework agreement to be signed before the Copenhagen European Council" opening on December 12.
Under a second amendment, proposed by Greek Euro-MP's Christos Zacharakis and Konstantinos Hatzidakis, as well as their colleagues Arie Oostlander and Elmar Brok, the rapporteur for enlargement, on behalf of the PPE-DE group in the EP, the parties were invited to examine the UN proposals "thoroughly and objectively."
Further, it called on the EU Commission to certify whether the proposals made by Annan "can provide the basis for a viable and operational settlement in the framework of the European Union in accordance with the acquis communautaire."
The ten paragraphs on Cyprus in the overall report endorsed by the EP today include a requirement that the political settlement to be achieved should enable Cyprus to participate in the decision-making process and the policies of the EU and to ensure the proper application of EU law.
"This implies that the Federal Government and Parliament of Cyprus should be fully functioning entities at international level", the report said.
The EP shared the hope that "a reunited Cyprus under single sovereignty, but with guarantees for the regional autonomy and protection of the interests of both communities, 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 EP reiterated its call on Turkey to lend full support to efforts for a Cyprus settlement this year, in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus.
It also noted that if a solution is not achieved by December 12, the EU summit in Copenhagen should proceed according to their decision of December 1999 at Helsinki, under which a settlement is not a precondition for the accession of Cyprus to the EU.|