20 March 2014 12:34

EU Member States will for the first time claim, at European Council level, a role in supporting UN sponsored talks to reunite Cyprus.
The position is contained in a paragraph on Cyprus included in the draft conclusions of the spring EU Council that gets underway in Brussels today and will be dominated by the crisis in the Crimea.
In the paragraph on Cyprus, the 28 EU Member States welcome the resumption of negotiations based on the joint declaration of February 11 aiming to reunite Cyprus.
The Council will voice support for a comprehensive and viable solution of the Cyprus problem within the framework of the UN, in line with relevant UN Security Council resolutions and according to the principles on which the European Union is based.
The draft conclusions also note that the division of Cyprus has gone on for too long, and emphasises the need to maintain the momentum.
It says the European Council is ready “to play its own role in supporting the negotiations”.
Moreover, it underlines that a reunited island will benefit all the people of Cyprus. In this context, the European Council will voice support for confidence-building measures agreed by the two sides which could contribute decisively to creating a climate of mutual trust and boost the negotiations.
The draft conclusions are subject to approval by the two-day summit of EU heads of state and government that begins in Brussels today.
President Anastasiades, who flew to the Belgian capital yesterday, has sought a more active EU role in the recently launched Cyprus peace process.


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