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Brussels, 24 April 2004

Commission statement following the outcome of the referendum in Cyprus

The European Commission deeply regrets that the Greek Cypriot community did not approve the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, but it respects the democratic decision of the people. A unique opportunity to bring about a solution to the long-lasting Cyprus issue has been missed. The European Commission would like to warmly congratulate Turkish Cypriots for their "Yes" vote. This signals a clear desire of the community to resolve the island's problem. The Commission is ready to consider ways of further promoting economic development of the northern part of Cyprus. The Commission will start its internal reflection on the new situation and will present its views to the Council of Ministers meeting to be held in Luxembourg next Monday. We wish to thank the United Nations Secretary General and his Good Offices team who have worked so hard for a comprehensive solution and for their close cooperation with the European Commission in drawing up their Plan.

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