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Cyprus to study reconstruction issues in occupied areas
2003-08-29 11:17:50

NICOSIA, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus' Council of Ministers has decided to appoint a ministerial committee to undertake the organization of the return of displaced persons to municipalities and communities under Turkish occupation, government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides announced here Thursday.

The committee, comprising the ministers of the interior, finance, communications and works, and education and culture, would undertake to study the issue of reconstruction, such as plans, infrastructure and costs.

The committee generally covers all the areas under Turkish occupation, Chrysostomides said, adding that the whole project would probably start in the areas to be placed under Greek Cypriot administration.

Asked if there was a deadline for the completion of this project, Chrysostomides said "we want a solution of the Cyprus problem before May 1, 2004" when Cyprus will become a full member of the European Union, and thus the project should be carried out by then.

"We are trying to be ready in all sectors in case of a promotion and solution of the Cyprus problem," he said.

The spokesman stressed that the committee would act on behalf of the president of the Republic and that any minister authorized by the cabinet could make any necessary contacts with the EU or any other international organization or country.

Cyprus has been divided into the Greek Cypriot controlled south and the Turkish Cypriot dominated north since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the northern one-third of the island in the wake of an abortive coup by supporters of union with Greece.

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