- Parliamentary Assembly
- Assembly debate on 22 January 2002 (3rd Sitting) (see Doc. Doc. 9302, report of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mr Bársony; and Doc. 9313, opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Jurgens). Text adopted by the Assembly on 22 January 2002 (3rd Sitting).
The Parliamentary Assembly has continued to follow closely the situation in Cyprus since it last debated the issue in 1997 and adopted Resolution 1113
2. It notes with satisfaction that after a long period of deadlock, the leaders of the two communities have entered into a series of face-to-face talks, in the presence of the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General, aimed at reaching a settlement of the conflict, which remains one of the most sensitive and most difficult to resolve in Europe.
3. Today Cyprus faces a new situation. The Republic of Cyprus is negotiating its accession to the European Union. The European Council (Helsinki, December 1999) declared that an overall settlement of the Cyprus problem was not a prerequisite to its accession. The Assembly nevertheless believes that a political agreement between the two sides on the future of the island is possible and desirable before entry to the European Union.
4. The Assembly is conscious that until there is a political settlement, the Turkish Cypriot community will not be in a position to participate in the membership negotiations conducted between the European Union and the Republic of Cyprus. However, it believes that the Turkish Cypriot community should be urgently provided with all relevant information on the European Union and the potential benefits of accession.
5. The internal political situation in the northern part of the island is becoming increasingly uncertain and the Turkish Cypriot community finds itself ever more isolated from the rest of the world and ignored by the international community.
6. The Assembly applauds the efforts led by the United Nations Secretary General to find a solution to the Cyprus problem andregrets that until now the United Nations’ proximity talks were in deadlock. It congratulates, however, President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Denktash, on having recently held a direct meeting in the presence of the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General and having agreed to negotiate until they reach agreement on the future of the island.
7. The Assembly regrets the mistrust and negative rhetoric of each side towards the other. As in any conflict situation, such references create an obstacle to confidence-building and convey a negative message to the public.
8. The Assembly deplores that on both sides young people are still being instilled with antagonistic feelings. While it understands the pain that past events might have caused, the Assembly underlines that the circumstances which led to violence in the past have changed significantly and that energy should be focused on working together towards a better future for the whole island.
The Assembly therefore:
welcomes the fact that the leaders of both communities have accepted the invitation by the United Nations Secretary General to participate, without preconditions, in the United Nations’ resumed talks aimed to achieve an overall settlement on the basis of the United Nations resolutions;
calls upon the leaders of both communities:
a to contribute to the search for a formula that would allow the whole population of Cyprus to benefit from membership of the European Union;
b to avoid stalling on the terminology to be used as regards the form of the future solution and to concentrate on concrete political issues;
c to refrain from using negative rhetoric when referring to the other community and from educating their children to hate and distrust its members;
d to co-operate in good faith in the efforts to ascertain the fate of missing persons;
e to remove restrictions on the freedom of movement of visitors to either side of the island;
calls upon the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus:
a to continue their efforts to bring about the participation of the Turkish Cypriot community in the accession negotiations with the European Union and to keep the Turkish Cypriots well informed of the benefits of accession;
b to refrain from sending political messages in connection with the European Union which could be interpreted by people living in the northern part of the island as a provocation;
c to show a more understanding attitude towards those international negotiators who aim at helping both sides to find a solution to the problem when they refer to the titles of personalities in the northern part of the island, without prejudice to the firm stance of all international organisations for the exclusive recognition of the state of the Republic of Cyprus;
calls upon the Turkish Cypriot authorities:
a to adopt a more positive attitude towards the European Union and inform the public accordingly about the potential benefits of membership;
b to remove restrictions on individual contacts between Turkish Cypriots and people living in the Republic of Cyprus and any other obstacles in the way of reconciliation, including hindrances to contacts with political parties;
c to provide all non-governmental organisations and the media with unrestricted freedom to operate;
calls upon the guarantor powers: Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom:
a to play a constructive role in ensuring that the efforts made by the United Nations Secretary General lead to positive results in the months ahead;
b to be instrumental in the creation of favourable conditions for the Turkish Cypriot administration/community to join in the European Union accession negotiations;
c to respect judgments of the European Court of Human Rights concerning Cyprus;
bearing in mind recent statements made by the Turkish authorities as regards the Republic of Cyprus’ accession to the European Union and Turkey’s role as a guarantor power,calls upon the Turkish authorities:
a to refrain from making threats against the Republic of Cyprus in connection with the accession of Cyprus to the European Union prior to a political settlement;
b to persuade the Turkish Cypriot leaders that future membership in the European Union presents advantages for both communities;
calls upon the European Union:
a to seek furthermeans of contact with the Turkish Cypriot community;
b to find furtherways of informing the Turkish Cypriot population, if possible by opening an information centre in the northern part of the island, about the potential benefits of accession to the European Union;
c to create, as a contribution to confidence-building measures, in co-operation with the relevant chamber of commerce in the northern part of Cyprus and if possible the relevant chamber of commerce in the southern part of Cyprus, a clearing mechanism through which products and goods from the northern part of Cyprus could be exported to the European Union without being hampered by the political differences among the two entities;
calls upon the United Nations Secretary General to intensify his efforts aimed at seeking a political solution, based on bi-zonal and bi-communal structures and taking into account the internal and external balances;
to explore ways to integrate more closely the elected representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community in the work of the Parliamentary Assembly and its committees, beyond the framework of Assembly Resolution 1113 (1997)
, and integrated to the Cypriot delegation;
b to continue to observe closely the situation through its competent committees and hold seminars on specific topics in co-operation with other international organisations;
c to improve dialogue also with the civil society of both communities and to invite their representatives to committee meetings when issues of concern to them are being discussed;
instructs its Political Affairs Committee to follow closely the political situation in Cyprus and to report back when it considers it necessary.