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USAID project not recognition of occupation regime in northern Cyprus
2005-07-14 10:12:47

Nicosia, Jul 14 - The Cyprus Government has assurances that the US aid to the Turkish-occupied areas does not constitute recognition of the puppet regime there.

Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides was commenting on press reports that BearingPoint, one of the world's largest business consulting and systems integration firms, had won a task order contract with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), to assist Turkish Cypriots in improving their business practices and in creating and taking advantage of new business opportunities. The contract is valued at 10 million dollars over three years.

Mr. Chrysostomides said the US had decided on this assistance some time ago and it was not being implemented, adding that there are assurances that this is not any form of recognition of the occupation regime.

State Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey said on Wednesday that this is part of a 30.5 million dollar US effort designed to create a climate that will lead to the island's reunification.

Asked if the aid is for the Turkish Cypriots or for both parts of the island, Casey said that ''it's for both parts of the island''.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the islandís northern third.

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