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Cypriot government welcomes decoupling of regulations
2006-02-24 15:48:48

Nicosia, Feb 24 (CNA) – The Cypriot government welcomed Friday night the decoupling of the two regulations concerning the financial regulation for the Turkish Cypriots and direct trade with the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus.

Spokesman George Lillikas said the government considers the adoption of the financial regulation “as an important step and expresses its commitment to contribute in a more practical and effective manner in the implementation of today’s decisions”.

“Today’s adoption of the Financial regulation opens the road to make available to the Turkish Cypriot community the remaining 139 million Euro since the remaining funds were lost” because the regulation was not adopted by December 2005 “for the reasons that we all know”, said Lillikas.

The initial amount was 259 million euros, of which 120 million were lost as the date up to which it could be allocated had expired.

The Cypriot Spokesman reminded that the Cypriot government had proposed on 26 April 2004 that the 259 million euros for 2004-2006, destined for the Turkish Cypriots in the event of a Cyprus settlement, should be made available to them.

The Spokesman thanked the Austrian presidency “for its efforts as well as all of Cyprus’ EU partners that supported the Austrian proposal”.

Lillikas said that today’s decision, which will be made final when it is sent to the General Affairs Council, to convene on Monday and to be approved as a Point A without discussion “includes and a commitment to continue deliberations and the work required to promote the conclusions of the 26 April 2004 Council that aim to ease the island’s reunification with its economic completion and to improve contacts between the two communities on the island”.

He said that with today’s decision “it is also agreed to continue the discussion aiming to reach an agreement on all the issues that constituted the basis of negotiations that took place under the Luxembourg Presidency’s initiative and which culminated in June 2005”.

The Spokesman reminded that those negotiations covered issues such as the return of Varosha for resettlement by its legal inhabitants, the movement of goods to the EU through Famagusta port which will be under the Commission’s administration, an end to the illegal exploitation of Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied areas, according to the decision of the European Court of Human Rights and to improve the Green Line regulation.

Lillikas said that on all these matters, the Council will proceed based on Protocol 10 of the Accession Act.

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