NICOSIA May 11 A group of the world's top
multilateral-lenders including the World Bank, IMF, European
Investment Bank and EBRD met on Thursday to signal they would
join forces in Cyprus if it overcomes the hurdles to
The lenders as well as the European Commission made the
commitment at a meeting also attended by the chief negotiators
from Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.
It was the first talks between the various institutions on
the issue and saw them "exchange views on preliminary plans for
assisting both the private and public sectors in Cyprus," the
EBRD which chaired the meeting said.
While the possibility of pooling resources was not part of
the discussion, a template already exists in the Balkans where
the institutions also coordinated efforts in areas like road and
other infrastructure building.
Whether or not it will materialise in Cyprus however remains
Hopes for reunification of the island which has been divided
along ethnic lines since 1974, have stuttered again this year,
frustrating diplomats who consider this round of negotiations as
having the best chance of success in decades.
"I recognise that the talks between the two communities are
not easy and there is a great deal still to discuss," EBRD
President Suma Chakrabarti said.
"But today's meeting is a sign that should an agreement be
reached... international organisations stand ready to provide,
technical, financial and political support."
(Reporting by Marc Jones, editing by Pritha Sarkar)