Cyprus insists on disassociating EU regulations
Nicosia, Apr 28 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government insists on the disassociation of the EU financial regulation worth 259 million euros for the Turkish Cypriots and the regulation for EU direct trade with the areas of Cyprus under Turkish occupation, and believes there is no reason why certain countries should insist on connecting the two.
''We want the Turkish Cypriots to be helped. We do not see why all these countries are attempting blackmail by associating these two regulations,'' Cyprus Minister of Foreign Affairs George Iacovou said today.
Speaking after signing the condolences book at the Israeli Embassy for the death of former President Ezer Weisman, Iacovou said the two regulations and Turkey's EU accession course would be discussed during the visit to Cyprus by Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rhen and Luxembourg's Minister Delegate for Europe Nicolas Schmit.
Iacovou said Rhen would be looking into the issue of the two regulations, ''despite the fact that he is well aware of our positions, and I think (his visit) is an indication of the EU's serious interest in the Cyprus problem and the chances of reaching a settlement.''
''We want the disassociation of the two regulations. There is no reason why either the Turkish Cypriots or the Turks, or friends of theirs, should in fact postpone the implementation of the financial protocol that will give the Turkish Cypriots 259 million euros and place the process in danger of termination, because if the programmes are not approved by the end of the year 2005 and not deposited over the next two years, then any pending funds will be cancelled,'' Iacovou noted.
He added that a settlement of the regulation issue lay in the proposal of President Tassos Papadopoulos for the joint operation of the Famagusta port and the opening of the fenced-off town of Famagusta, which has been a ghost town since the 1974 invasion and occupation of the island's northern third.