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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Schulz in Cyprus ahead of direct trade discussion ]

Schulz in Cyprus ahead of direct trade discussion

George Psyllides

MARTIN Schulz, the leader of the Socialists in the European Parliament (EP) expressed hope yesterday that the talks between the island’s divided Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities would be successful to also resolve the direct trade issue.

Schulz, who is on a fact-finding mission in Cyprus said he was on the island to listen and learn.

“I am here to listen, learn, before I make decisions and there is an impact,” Schulz said after a meeting with House President and DIKO leader Marios Garoyian. “It is very important to better understand the different views and discussions. Thus before I can make a recommendation to my colleagues in the EP’s Socialist Group, I should learn and that is why I must listen.”

The German MEP yesterday held meetings with the leaders of AKEL and EDEK.

He also met President Demetris Christofias and Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou but no statements were made to the media afterwards.

On the Direct Trade Regulation, Schulz said it was not yet clear if the EP would be involved as the legal basis of the regulation had to be clarified.

The issue will be discussed next Monday by the EPs Committee on Legal Affairs.

The question under debate is whether the EP has a say in the regulation allowing for direct trade between northern Cyprus and the rest of the EU under the new terms of the Treaty of Lisbon.

The European Commission argues that the EP’s International Trade Committee is the competent body to decide whether to pass the DTR or not.

The Cyprus Republic counter-argues that the issue is not a matter of international trade since the north is still considered a part of the Republic under the Treaty of Accession.

It seems however that the EU will wait for the results of the talks between President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu before any concrete steps are taken regarding the matter.

“I sincerely hope that the direct talks are successful,” Schulz said. “Because if they are successful then we will not get involved and it is better for outside people not to intervene in a solution as much as possible.”

Schulz said he told the leaders of the other political groups in the EP to wait for the legal basis to be clarified before discussing direct trade.

“The best way to solve the problems is the success of the President of the Republic in the direct negotiations,” Schulz said.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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