EU urged to intevene to speed up Cyprus talks
The Parliament Magazine, 7 September 2009:
The EU has been urged to intervene to help speed up peace negotiations on the divided island of Cyprus.
Greek Cypriot MEP Takis Hadjigeorgiou (GUE/NGL) says the EU has a "substantial" role to play in ending the 35-year division of the island.
His plea comes in the wake of the cancellation last week of the latest round of peace talks between the leaders of the two divided communities in Cyprus.
In a letter sent to on Monday to parliament's president Jerzy Buzek and leaders of the main political groups, Hadjigeorgiou says, "We are concerned by the impression given to us that various representatives of the EU project the need for an unobstructed accession procedure of Turkey, ignoring the need for the implementation of the this country's obligations."
The letter, also sent to EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn, adds, "Such a policy will not produce the expected results.
"That is to say that in the end neither will Turkey accede, nor unfortunately will the Cyprus problem be solved," added Hadjigeorgiou, a member of the left-leaning GUE/NGL group.
The Greek Cypriots cancelled the talks last Thursday after Turkish Cypriot authorities held up a bus convoy of Greek pilgrims for lengthy security checks as they sought to cross the dividing line between the communities.
The Greek Cypriots had been heading for a religious service in a church at the time. Many believe Turkey's bid to join the EU hinges on a peace deal in Cyprus
Australia's former foreign minister Alexander Downer is the UN special envoy for Cyprus and he voiced disappointment at the latest development.