Verhofstadt calls for debate on Cyprus at Europ. Parliament in order to facilitate a solution

Guy Verhofstadt, the prominent European politician, has called for the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to take part in a ‘high level debate’ in the European Parliament.

Mr. Verhofstadt, who leads the ALDE group, said it is time for the European Parliament to take the initiative and hold a special high-level debate and exchange with the two leaders.

“There is no more time to lose. The island of Cyprus is part of the European Union’s territory and we must take an initiative in order to facilitate a solution to this internal matter. I hope President Tajani will invite both leaders to come to the European Parliament in September,” Verhofstadt said.

During the negotiations, Mr. Verhofstadt sent a letter to European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker requesting EU support for a settlement was stepped up, but those efforts ended without a result, reported the Cyprus News Agency.

“We are deeply concerned about the recent collapse of the UN-led Cyprus reunification talks,”ALDE Group Vice President, Javier Nart added.
“After nearly 50 years of separation between the two communities and despite the close alignment reached between the two leader`s positions in recent times, this collapse must not feed the will of both sides` radical nationalists groups whose aim is to keep the island divided. The EU cannot afford to continue with this frozen conflict and allow that its fellow citizens are deprived of their rights as citizens of the European Union.”

The latest UN-backed talks – which broke up last week in Switzerland without agreement – were seen as the best chance to end the 43-year partition of the island.

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group (ALDE) is the liberal–centrist political group of the European Parliament. It is made up of MEPs from two European political parties, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party (formerly the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party) and the European Democratic Party, which collectively form the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

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