Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Northern Cyprus Election, Chechen Terrorism

Delivered in Plenary - December 15th 2003

Mr President

Firstly I would like to refer to the tragedy of today's dead-heat parliamentary election result in Turkish Northern Cyprus which is insufficient to oust Mr Denktaş, who actively opposes the generous US Annan plan to reunify the island in time to join the European Union next May. Can you appeal to Mr Denktaş to reopen negotiations urgently and accept that the huge swing against him in the election indicates a desire by his impoverished people for a settlement on the island?

Secondly, in Russian Daghestan we have once again seen the brutal action of Chechen guerrillas who beheaded the border guard commander and took hostages including local hospital workers. This is against the backdrop of a suicide bomber in Moscow last week killing six innocent civilians. Can you send to the Speaker of the new Duma, which is being convened next week, this House's expression of condolences and outrage against such terrorist actions.

Finally, on a different note, I congratulate Prime Minister Berlusconi on securing for historic and gastronomic Parma the seat of the Food Safety Agency.