12 February 2014 07:50

BRUSSELS - The European Union on Tuesday welcomed the agreement announced today by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders on a Joint Declaration, which it said lays a solid foundation for resumption of negotiations for a fair and viable comprehensive settlement of the long-standing Cyprus problem.
This Joint Declaration should help them to swiftly address matters of substance and to achieve rapid results in the negotiations, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy said in a joint statement.
Barroso and Van Rompuy congratulate and salute the courage the two leaders have shown in agreeing it.
“At the time of accession of Cyprus, the European Union declared its readiness to accommodate the terms of a settlement in line with the principles on which the Union is founded,” they said.
As previously announced, the European Commission is keen to play its part in supporting the negotiations, conducted under UN auspices and to offer all the support the parties and the UN find most useful, they added.
As the negotiations resume, Barroso's personal representative will contribute actively to the search for constructive solutions in compliance with the EU acquis to overcome outstanding problems. In parallel, the European Commission will also step up its efforts to help the Turkish Cypriot Community prepare for implementation of the acquis, they added.
The European Union also supports the efforts to reach an agreement between the two parties on a package of Confidence-Building Measures which can help to create momentum towards a settlement to the benefit of Cypriot people. “The European Union stands ready to look creatively at how to contribute to this objective in the prospects of a final settlement,” they added.


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