Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Speech to Cyprus National Day Rally

Trafalgar Square - 21st July 2002

It gives me once again enormous pleasure to be with you to celebrate Cyprus' national day here in the very heart of the City I represent in the European Parliament.

As Conservative Foreign Affairs Spokesman my party strongly supports the enlargement process for 2004. This will provide for a wider looser Union of nation states, with a massive market of over 500 million people and stabilise Central and Eastern European countries in peace and democracy. As a British member I particularly welcome that 2 candidate countries, Cyprus and Malta come from the Commonwealth which will strengthen the relations and dialogue the EU has with that influential body, and further increase the use of the English language in the Institutions which will improve the efficiency and speed of communications in the EU's multinational environment, and much to the irritation of the French!

Cyprus will be allowed to join in 2004 as its accession negotiations are almost complete and this will be with or without a final settlement on the question of the Turkish occupation of the north. I, like my colleague Theresa Villiers, who has been a champion of your cause in the EP, reject the comments of Lord Hannay which suggest that there are 2 separate Greek and Turkish Cypriot peoples rather than two separate communities under one nation and one flag. The Conservatives remain committed to the Bizonal Bicommunal model as the basis for a viable long-term peaceful settlement, and we reject the Turkish threats of annexation of the North. We hope that President Clerides and Rauf Denktaş will be able to reach an agreement soon on the outstanding issues as the North becomes economically poorer by the day. I have said enough but a final word.

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