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EU renews support to economic development of Turkish Cypriot community


08:46, November 23, 2012

NICOSIA, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- European Commission Thursday approved new financial assistance, worth 27.2 million euros (34.3 million U.S. dollars), for the Turkish Cypriot community.

The program will focus on promoting the economic integration of Cyprus, with the overall objective to help prepare for its reunification.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey militarily intervened and controlled the north of Cyprus following a coup on the island by some Greek military officers.

In 1983, the Turkish Cypriot authorities declared breakaway and set up "the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus", which is recognized only by Turkey.

According to a press release by European Commission, the funds will support a wide range of sectors, including eradication of animal diseases, protection of the environment, road safety, cultural heritage and civil society. Students, teachers and NGOs will be among the main beneficiaries of the program.

The European Union has invested to date more than 320 million euros under the Aid Program for the Turkish Cypriot community. Earlier this year a specific allocation of 800,000 euros had already been approved to fund the EU Scholarship Program for the academic year 2012/2013. (1 euro = 1.26 U.S. dollars)

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