Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot building contractors met with President Nicos Anastasiades on Thursday, to put forward a proposal to reconstruct and restore historical monuments and buildings, located in the buffer zone, through bi-communal construction consortia.
Proposals also include the reconstruction of Varosha, the participation of representatives of both organisations in the technical committees related to the construction industry, and the operation of a public service office in the buffer zone, near Ledra Palace, to represent both contractors’ federations.
Cafer Gürcafer, President of the Turkish Cypriot Contractors’ Association, said that the aim of Thursday’s meeting was to explore the ways both Constructors Unions could contribute to a Cyprus solution, which should pave the way for many financial opportunities.
Speaking through an interpreter, Gürcafer noted that financial cooperation is important not only before, but also after a Cyprus solution. He referred to the memorandum of understanding the two sides agreed upon in 2014, saying that it does not focus on Famagusta alone, but on the joint construction effort on the island.
He added that the aim, established in 2014, to become an example for the cooperation of other non-governmental organisations, has been achieved.
Costas Roushas, President of the Greek Cypriot Federation of Contractors’ Associations, said President Anastasiades was very positive about the proposal for the committees, while saying that works within the buffer zone would be a good starting point. A list with monuments for immediate reconstruction will be prepared soon, and financing can be secured through EU funding.
Famagusta was one of the main issues, according to Roushas, who said that although foreign companies could not be excluded from taking part in the city’s reconstruction, the main work should be carried out by local contractors.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, following a military intervention by Turkey. UN-led talks, aimed at reunifying Cyprus as a federation, resumed on May 15, this year.