President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, along with Britain and the US welcomed the start of Cyprus talks on Tuesday.
In a written statement Barroso and Van Rompuy said the Joint Declaration, laid a solid foundation for resumption of negotiations for a fair and viable comprehensive settlement of the long-standing Cyprus problem.
“This Joint Declaration should help them to swiftly address matters of substance and to achieve rapid results in the negotiations,” the statement said,
Barroso and Van Rompuy also congratulated and saluted “the courage the two leaders have shown in agreeing it”.
The two EU leaders also said that at the time of accession of Cyprus, the European Union declared its readiness to accommodate the terms of a settlement in line with the principles on which the Union is founded.
“As previously announced, the European Commission is keen to play its part in supporting the negotiations, conducted under UN auspices and to offer all the support the parties and the UN find most useful,” said the statement.
“As the negotiations resume, President Barroso’s personal representative will contribute actively to the search for constructive solutions in compliance with the EU acquis to overcome outstanding problems. In parallel, the European Commission will also step up its efforts to help the Turkish Cypriot Community prepare for implementation of the acquis.”
The European Union would also support efforts to reach an agreement between the two parties on a package of Confidence-Building Measures “which can help to create momentum towards a settlement to the benefit of Cypriot people”. The European Union stands ready to look creatively at how to contribute to this objective in the prospects of a final settlement.
Britain also said on Tuesday it was following developments in Cyprus and was ready to provide its support to the settlement process.
Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed today’s agreement to restart talks, calling it “an important step forward.” “It provides a real opportunity to secure a lasting and comprehensive settlement and I applaud President Anastasiades and Dr Eroglu for the courage they have shown by agreeing to restart talks. Their continued pragmatism and willingness to find a solution will be vital in the months ahead to ensure that the reunification of Cyprus becomes a reality. We will continue to fully support all Cypriots in their shared aim of a unified and prosperous island,” added Cameron.
The US, which was instrumental in pushing the Joint Declaration to its conclusions said it hopes rapid progress will be achieved. “The United States is encouraged by these reports and looks forward to successful resumption of the UN-led talks in the coming days,” and American official said late on Monday.