Council adopts aid regulation for Turkish Cypriots
by Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Feb 27 (CNA) - The EU General Affairs General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC), described as a ''significant step'' today's adoption by the Council of the financial aid regulation for Turkish Cypriots.
In an official statement, the Council said the regulation establishes ''an instrument of financial support for encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community in the northern part of Cyprus.''
''This represents a significant step towards meeting the Council conclusions on Cyprus adopted on 26 April 2004. A total of 139 million euros will now be made available to the Turkish Cypriot community in 2006, with a view to promoting the economic integration of the island and improving contact between the two communities and the EU,'' the Council said.
It noted that ''today's agreement on the instrument of financial support follows intense efforts by the Austrian Presidency to find a way forward on all issues relevant to the follow-up of the April 2004 Council conclusions,'' adding that ''measures to be financed by the financial instrument are of an exceptional and transitional nature.''
''They are intended, in particular, to prepare and facilitate, as appropriate, the full application of the acquis communautaire in the areas in which the government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control, once a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem has been achieved,'' it concluded.