EBRD is op­ti­mistic and sup­port­ive of Cyprus talks

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

DAVOS, SWITZER­LAND (Reuters) – 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 yes­ter­day 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.”

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