EBRD optimistic and supportive of Cyprus talks


Despite talks to resolve the decades-long conflict in Cyprus ending without an agreement, the head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) remains optimistic Cypriot leaders on both sides will strike a deal this summer.

EBRD chief Suma Chakrabarti told the Reuters Global Markets Forum on Tuesday he believed Republic of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci would be able to secure a deal to put to their respective communities in a referendum later this year.

He added the bank was prepared to continue its investment in the whole country.

“The EBRD mandate now allows us to operate in Cyprus to the end of 2020 and should the referendum be positive then we will certainly aim to increase our investment, particularly in the north, to help economic development on the island,” said Chakrabarti.

Asked if he would like to extend the investment beyond 2020, especially if the north opens up, he said: “That is an issue for shareholders to decide, but it’s true that the north is much more underdeveloped than the south and will require years of investment to catch up. So we’ll have to see if Cyprus makes the case for an extension of mandate and how the shareholders react.”