The hope for the reunification of Cyprus is back
By Francis WURTZ,
President of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left group in the European Parliament
After his meeting with the new President of the Republic of Cyprus Dimitris CHRISTOFIAS
Nicosia 26 March 2008,
I am always happy to be visiting Cyprus, but today I am particularly pleased. I have just met President Christofias, my good friend, and have conveyed to him warmest congratulations from the GUE /NGL group in the European Parliament for his election.
We have discussed the recent encouraging developments in Cyprus. I am really impressed: only one month after his election to the Presidency, I feel the political climate has already changed. In Cyprus and in the EU towards Cyprus. The hope for the reunification of the island is back.
Of course, everybody is conscious over the fact that there is a lot of work to be done. But, there is a political will to go this way; there are very welcome political initiatives and already first results. Particularly the 21st of March meeting between President Christofias and Mr Talat and their decisions.
- First of all, I think it is very important that the two leaders have agreed that technical groups and committees should start work preparing the ground for substantive negotiations in the near future under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General;
- I am particularly impressed also about the decision to open Ledra Street! It is a beautiful confidence-building measure. It was for years the symbol of the division of the country and the people and it will become a symbol of the hope for reunification!
As a member of the "High Level Contact Group" of the European Parliament for the relations with the Turkish Cypriot community in the northern part of the island, I have been trying, with my colleagues, to encourage the opening of this crossing point in the heart of Nicosia. Today, I hope that will become reality as soon as possible. I am sure all my colleagues will continue our positive contribution in the direction of activities that bring the two communities closer together.
- The third very positive information I would like to mention is the decision by President Christofias to further encourage the good work done in recent years by the Committee on the Missing Persons. The European Parliament has supported this work and we will do all we can to assist as needed to solve this humanitarian problem and bring some peace to the families of the missing.
I want to express my group's and personal wish that this new start will build strong foundations for negotiations and a mutually agreed solution that will allow the young generations of Cyprus – Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latines – to build a prosperous and peaceful future and benefit the most of their presence in the European Union.
A reunified Cyprus can bring a lot of positive elements into the EU. I strongly believe that all Cypriots together can achieve this future. Both the GUE-NGL group in the European Parliament and myself will be strongly supporting this new start.