Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-148"

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"Madam President, yesterday, when we welcomed Members from the ten new Member States, many speakers spoke in terms of the dream of the unification of the continent of Europe coming true. For one of the Member States, Cyprus, it has not done so. Even today, Cyprus is divided by a wall, by barbed wire, and by minefields. I have had the pleasure of joining our Cypriot friends in celebrating their accession, and I have come back from Cyprus with more optimism than I had before I went. Even though part of the island has rejected the Annan plan, I am still convinced that the Cypriots, both Greek and Turkish, can live together and want to do so. They are a single, sovereign and indivisible people, and where there is a will there is a way. That way goes via renewed dialogue between the communities under the auspices of the European Union. One possible reason why the referendum in the Republic of Cyprus failed may be that the voters felt themselves rushed and that too little time was allowed for explanations; that being so, it was monopolised by nationalist slogans. What matters now is that the Cypriots should move on to an in-depth debate on their future together. This, Madam President, Commissioner, is my last speech in the European Parliament, and so I issue an urgent appeal to the Commission and the Council, that they should put behind them the legitimate disappointment aroused by the rejection of the Annan plan, but, Commissioner, we must not sit around idly. As from today, the reunification of Cyprus is a European problem, and so we must again seize the initiative."@en1

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