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EU agrees on UN proposal for a Donors' Conference
2003-02-14 12:26:03

By Nicos Bellos-- Brussels, Feb 14 (CNA) -- Τhe European Union supports the UN proposal for an International Donors' Conference to be held soon after the signing of a political agreement and the reunification of Cyprus.

In a Declaration by the Greek Presidency on behalf of the European Union regarding a Donors's Conference for Cyprus it is also noted that ''the European Commission has already announced its readiness to organise the conference in question, after the signature of the Political Agreement''.

It underlines that ''the European Union has noted that the issue of the substantial economic funds required for the implementation of the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, on the basis of the UN Secretary General's proposals and the deadlines for agreement making part of that plan, is of great significance to all Cypriots, thus deserving strong political and material support from the international community.'' |

''For this reason, the EU supports the UN proposal for an International Donors' Conference to be held soon after the signature of the political agreement and the reunification of Cyprus. The European Commission has already announced its readiness to organise the conference in question, after the signature of the Political Agreement,'' the Declaration notes.

The Declaration continues that ''the objective of this conference would be to examine ways for the International Community to support the costs linked to the political settlement and the reconciliation of the two communities in Cyprus''.

It adds that the European Union has noted the wider support expressed for this proposal and calls on the international community and all international financial organisations to back this project and contribute to its goals, which will be to the benefit of all Cypriots and will help bring peace, security and stability to Cyprus and in the region as a whole.

''The Acceding Countries Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, the Associated Countries Bulgaria, Romania, and the EFTA countries, members of the European Economic Area align themselves with this declaration,'' the presidency concludes.

The donors' conference was proposed last month by European Commissioner on Enlargement Gunter Verheugen with the full backing of Commission President Romano Prodi.

Verheugen said that ''in this crucial phase of the UN negotiations aiming to reach a settlement in Cyprus, the international community should express solidarity'', noting that this meant ''it should be ready to support the cost linked to a political solution and the reconciliation of the two communities in Cyprus''.

He added that the EU itself was ready to provide considerable financial support as soon as a settlement is reached to help overcome economic disparities on the island and to prepare areas currently under Turkish occupation for EU membership as part of a reunited Cyprus.

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.

CNA NB/KN/GP/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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