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BORRELL: EU must be fully engaged in Cyprus talks

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The sooner the EU becomes fully involved in resuming moribund Cyprus talks, the better, European Commission foreign policy chief Josep Borrell advocates.

In a letter of reply to Committee Chair on Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament David McAllister, Borrell said the EU fully supports the UN efforts to create the best possible conditions for the next Geneva summit to succeed.

There was no breakthrough in Geneva in April, but UN chief Antonio Guterres said there would be a follow-up meeting to achieve the desired results in the coming months.

“We stand ready to provide whatever assistance both Cypriot leaders and the UN would find useful. I have reassured UN Secretary-General Guterres of the EU’s readiness to engage at a political level,” said Borrell.

He said a Cyprus settlement needs to comply with the EU acquis and safeguards, the integrity and decision-making responsibilities and processes of the EU.

“The EU is an observer to the formal Conference on Cyprus…the sooner the EU becomes fully involved in the Cyprus talks, the better. We are making this point with Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.”

Although not directly involved in Geneva, senior officials were present in Geneva for bilateral meetings.

Borrell believes the situation in Cyprus is unsustainable with implications for regional stability and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“As the European Council has reaffirmed repeatedly, the EU remains fully committed to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem in accordance with relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and in line with the EU acquis.

“We know it is going to be a complex process, but during my conversations, I have been encouraged by the readiness of both President (Nicos) Anastasiades and (Ersin) Tatar to engage with the UN to find common ground on the way forward.”

Turkey, Greece, and the UK took part in the Geneva summit, which failed to find enough common ground for Cyprus talks to resume after a four-year hiatus.

Guterres said he would convene another 5+1 meeting to reach common ground to allow formal UN-sponsored Cyprus negotiations to resume. (source CNA)