Turkish Cypriot ‘no’ to EU aid

Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash yesterday rejected the EU aid package aimed at improving conditions in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, integrating its economy with that of the EU and easing trade restrictions. The European Commission unveiled the measures – worth 12 million euros – on Tuesday. Cypriot government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides expressed satisfaction with the package. Foreign Minister George Iacovou stressed that the EU and Cyprus agreed Turkish-Cypriot products would be exported through Republic of Cyprus ports. The Commission proposed that the Turkish-Cypriot Chamber of Commerce be given the authority to issue movement certificates to facilitate trade with Europe. «This is not aid, this is not support. This is putting us under the signature and the stamp of the Greek-Cypriot government,» Reuters quoted Denktash as saying. «If this were acceptable in its present form, I would be telling you today that we have accepted,» he added. «The aim is to not allow Turkish-Cypriot products to leave from the north… We will insist on a middle way.» Indicating frustration over international efforts to reunify Cyprus, Britain’s special envoy for the island, Lord David Hannay, has asked to terminate his contract. «Should events again make it appropriate for a special representative to be appointed, the government will not hesitate to do so,» Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told the UK Parliament yesterday.

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