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EUROPE > Respect Greek Cyprus’ presidency: EU head

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‘Sharing of natural resources could pave the way to peace in the island,’ Van Rompuy (R) tells Greek Cypriot lawmakers.

‘Sharing of natural resources could pave the way to peace in the island,’ Van Rompuy (R) tells Greek Cypriot lawmakers.

The president of the European Council (EC) has called on Turkey to respect the EU presidency, even after Greek Cyprus assumes the body’s rotating presidency in July.

“With regard to Turkey, I recall the strong support which the European Council already provided in December 2011 to the upcoming Greek Cypriot presidency,” EC President Herman Van Rompuy said after meeting with Greek Cypriot President Demetris Christofias on May 28, according to Cyprus news agency. The presidency “is a fundamental feature of our Union, based on the EU Treaty, and must be fully respected by all,” Rompuy said.

“The EU continues to attach the utmost importance to the continuation of the negotiations, and calls on both sides to make every effort to pave the way to a comprehensive settlement,” Rompuy said, adding that the “status quo is in no one’s interest.”

The ultimate goal, he added, is to have the united island in the EU. Christofias said he is ready to “continue the dialogue even during Greek Cyprus’ presidency of the EU Council.” Rompuy also told Greek Cypriot lawmakers that the sharing of natural resources could pave the way to peace, just as coal and steel cooperation between former rivals France and Germany spawned the EU, the Associated Press reported.

May/30/2012

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