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International community to support Cyprus financially and morally
2004-04-15 15:14:24

Nicosia, Apr 15 (CNA) -- The countries participating in the preparatory donors' conference on Cyprus, that took place today in Brussels, have expressed their readiness to support the people of Cyprus economically as well as morally and help them implement the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, once it is approved by both communities in Cyprus.

The international community has also sent a clear message to the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots that it prefers a reunited Cyprus entering the EU in May and urged them to approve the Annan plan at the separate and simultaneous referenda that will take place on April 24.

US has announced a 400-million-US-dollar pledge to support implementation of the Annan plan. The UK announced an amount of 31 million euros, Norway together with Iceland and Liechtenstein 4.7 million euros, Finland 0.5 million euros and Sweden 600.000 euros.

Other countries like Japan, Chile, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Australia, have expressed their readiness to support the Cyprus people financially and morally so that there is a smoothly implementation of the settlement.

Moreover, representatives from the European Investment Bank, the World Bank, the Council of Europe Bank and the International Monetary Fund, said that they would offer financial as well as technical support for the implementation of the solution.

Pat Cox, President of the European Parliament said that the EU would fully support the Cyprus settlement and urged both communities to vote in favour of the Annan plan.

He underlined that ''presumptions that a settlement or an other deal lies just around the corner are illusionary''.

Cox expressed deep disappointment ''at the failure of imagination and courageous leadership exhibited by too many at this time''.

He added that the EU has earmarked 259 million euros over the coming years for a settlement.

Dick Roche, Irish Minister for European Affairs, said that the decision rests by the people of Cyprus and reassured that the international community is determined to support the implementation of settlement, politically as well as economically.

Andrew Natsios, Administrator of the US Agency for International Development announced a 400-million-US-dollar pledge to support reconciliation in Cyprus.

British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said that his country would play its role and contribute at least 31 million euros to help implement the settlement. ''We are ready to make further contributions'' he said.

Referring to the Annan plan, he said that ''it is wise and balanced and both sides should seize the opportunity for a solution''.

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