Turkey- Cost of Cyprus solution may reach 30 bln euros: Cypriot leaders
(MENAFN- The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) The leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities of Cyprus currently engaged in negotiations aimed at reunifying the eastern Mediterranean island have said the cost of a solution has been estimated at between 25 billion euros and 30 billion euros Turkish Cypriot media reported on Monday.
Nicos Anastasiades the internationally recognized President of the Cyprus Republic acting as leader of the Greek Cypriot community and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci told Turkish channel CNN Turk that the cost of a solution is one of the major problems.
But they added that they believe it will be solved.
The estimated cost of the solution is almost two times the current 17.5-billion-euro annual GDP of Cyprus.
The two community leaders gave separate interviews to the channel but they replied to identical questions.
This followed an unprecedented joint appearance by Anastasiades and Akinci on Cyprus state television on Christmas Eve addressing identical greetings to Christian Orthodox Greek Cypriots and Muslim Turkish Cypriots.
But it should be noted that despite decades of confrontation religion had never been an issue between the two communities.
Akinci said that it will take an international effort to apply an eventual solution and to find the money needed to pay compensation to people deprived of their properties.
About 170000 Greek Cypriots are still living as internally displaced people and consider themselves as refugees inside their country.
"Many foreign ministers ... have come here and discussed the issue of financing a solution. We have empowered (United Nations special emissary) Espen Barth Eide to discuss the issue of funding the solution with the IMF" said Akinci.
Anastasiades said the financial aspect of a solution will be one of the problems.
"But I want to believe that it will not be an obstacle to the solution we are trying to reach" he said.
The cost of a solution was one of the factors which caused Greek Cypriots to vote against a solution plan proposed by the United Nations in 2004.
Akinci said that for Turkish Cypriots the most important aspect of a solution is the political equality of the two communities in a federal state.
He added that the priority for Greek Cypriots is the abrogation of international guarantees by Britain Greece and Turkey put in force when Cyprus became independent in 1960 and the return of as much as possible territory to Greek Cypriots.
Cyprus has been divided into Turkish-Cypriots occupied north and Greek-Cypriots occupied south since 1974.
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