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Cyprus Government welcomes EU’s aid of 139 million Euros to Turkish Cypriots
2006-02-27 13:28:56

Paris, Feb 27 - The Cyprus government, through its Spokesman George Lillikas, welcomed Friday’s adoption of the aid regulation for Turkish Cypriots by the General Affairs Council in Brussels.

Lillikas said the decision ''makes formal the decoupling of the aid regulation for Turkish Cypriots from the issue of direct trade which is referred to discussion in line with the other issues that were the basis of the Luxembourg presidency.''

In a press release issued by the Cyprus Embassy in Washington, DC, Cyprus Ambassador to the US Euripides L. Evriviades said, “We warmly welcome the adoption of the Regulation establishing an instrument of financial support for the Turkish Cypriots, making thus available to them the sum of 139 million Euros ($165 million).”

An official announcement in Nicosia also stressed: “The Government of the Republic of Cyprus considers that the adoption of the financial aid regulation is a concrete step forward, and signifies the Government’s commitment to contribute in a practical and result-oriented manner to the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community with a view to the economic integration and reunification of the island.”

Cyprus Minister of Foreign Affairs George Iacovou described the decision of the General Affairs Council to adopt the aid regulation for Turkish Cypriots as an ''important landmark'' in the relations of Cyprus, the EU and its member states. He said the government is looking forward to continuing deliberations on the four issues with an aim to achieve an agreement that will benefit all Cypriots.

According to Olli Rehn, EU Commissioner for Enlargement, the Regulation, he said, “enables the EU to bring assistance where it is urgently needed in fields such as energy and environment. Many concrete projects can now be realized which bring the Turkish Cypriot community closer to the European Union”.

The Aid Regulation, Rehn noted, “will also allow the Commission to prepare the Turkish Cypriot community for the future application of EU Law following a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem”.

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