Verheugen says decision on Cyprus to be taken in Copenhagen
by Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Nov 27 (CNA) - The decision for Cyprus' accession to the European
Union will be taken at the Copenhagen European Council next month
''whatever happens'', Commissioner on Enlargement Gunter Verheugen said
At the same time he warned Turkish Cypriots and Ankara over the consequences of not achieving a solution to the Cyprus problem.
Replying to questions during a meeting at the European Parliament in Brussels with the presidents of the parliaments of candidate for EU accession countries, Verheugen said the plan put forward by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for a Cyprus settlement presents Turkish Cypriots with an historic opportunity which will not appear again in the future.|
For this reason, he called on the Turkish Cypriots to take advantage of the opportunity and agree with Greek Cypriots before the Copenhagen summit on a document, which will pave the way for the island's reunification.
Indirectly referring to statements made by Turkey's Justice and Development leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, about a simultaneous accession of Turkey and Cyprus to the EU, the Commissioner said ''the clock is ticking and whatever happens Cyprus' accession will be decided at the Copenhagen European Council. There is no way to postpone the decision'', Verheugen added.
He warned Turkey that if the island's accession is decided at Copenhagen without a settlement, Ankara should know that its influence at EU level would be much weaker than it is today.
Verheugen acknowledged that the time left until December 12 is not enough to complete negotiations on the UN chief's plan for a Cyprus settlement, adding that ''what we want is to sign a document with guidelines on the reunification of Cyprus''.