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2003-01-24 14:33:15

Nicosia, Jan 24 (CNA) ? Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said here Friday Cyprus cannot undertake all the financial strain that will ensue from the implementation of a Cyprus settlement and therefore the international community should come forward with a more substantial contribution.

Central Bank Governor, Christodoulos Christodoulou, said he has already prepared a suggestion on the issue and has handed it to President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides, saying it is indispensable to undertake an in depth study on the cost of a solution.

Papapetrou said the financial obligations, which could result from the UN Secretary-General's plan on a Cyprus settlement, are estimated at one billion pounds or more.|

Invited to comment on a proposal by European Union Enlargement Commissioner, Gunter Verheugen to convene a donors' conference to support a settlement, Papapetrou said ''the EU and the international community are preparing in earnest to handle all the parameters of a possible Cyprus settlement.''

He said the financial aspects of the UN plan relate to compensation for resettling people and economic incentives for the return of settlers to Turkey. These, Papapetrou said, could cost one billion pounds or more.

"We are talking about amounts which Cyprus cannot undertake on its own, therefore it is necessary the international community comes forward with substantial contribution and specific promises to help towards this direction", Papapetrou added.

Central Bank Governor, Christodoulos Christodoulou said he believes experts should undertake a complete and multifaceted study on the cost of a solution and the burden on the public finances that would emanate from the possible implementation of the Annan plan.

Christodoulou said this issue was sufficiently discussed during a meeting yesterday between Cyprus' Chief Negotiator with the EU George Vassiliou and EU Chief Negotiator with Cyprus Leopold Maurer.

The Central Bank Governor said at the meeting he pointed out the need for a study which will show the specific costs of restoring property destroyed or partially destroyed in the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus as well as the funds to be paid for lost revenue, resulting from loss of use of properties.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash are currently engaged in UN-led talks aimed at reaching a comprehensive settlement.


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