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Europe

EU Prepares for United Cyprus to Join

The European Commission on Wednesday adopted a proposal which would pave the way legally for both sides of the divided island to join the EU on May 1.

The proposal to pave the way for a united Cyprus entering the EU on May 1 comes just a couple of weeks before two crucial referendums on the island on a finalized plan tabled by the United Nations. Announcing the proposals, enlargement Commissioner Günter Verheugen stressed the significance of the plan and saying if no agreement is reached "the opportunity will go for a very long time. The question is not a choice between this plan and another, it is between this plan or no solution at all." The UN plan is a result of frantic negotiations over recent weeks to try and re-unite the island which has been divided since 1974. Both the United Nations and Brussels are stressing that this is last revised plan for a long time. Referring to conversations with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Verheugen said: "For him this is definitely the final approach. There will be no other." (EUobserver.com)

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