UPDATED WITH MORE REMARKS BY TURKISH VICE PRESIDENT FUAT OKTAY, TRNC PRIME MINISTER ERSIN TATAR, CHANGES HEADLINE
By Ahmet Sertan Usul and Osman Bayturk
ANKARA (AA) - Ankara is providing over 2.2 billion Turkish liras (some $325 million) to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to help it bear the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, Turkey’s vice president said on Tuesday.
“While preparing for the new normal, Turkey will continue to support the TRNC,” Vice President Fuat Oktay said during the signing ceremony of the 2020 Economic and Financial Cooperation Agreement between Turkey and TRNC held via video link.
Reiterating Ankara’s continued support, he said Turkey is determined to take all necessary steps with the TRNC without delay to help it build a sustainable economy for the welfare of the Turkish Cypriot people.
***“We will continue to carry out new projects shoulder to shoulder by completing some projects such as roads, water networks, and hospitals that were launched last year and with previous agreements,” he added.
- Financial assistance in grants, loans
Sharing details of the agreement, Oktay said the financial assistance was being extended in the form of grants and loans.
***He pointed to the success of the TRNC’s fight against coronavirus, as the country has seen no new cases in over a month.
***He underlined that measures taken against the outbreak have affected economies worldwide, adding: “The post-COVID era offers opportunities, and new paths for cooperation in the TRNC.”
***“With Turkey's support, the future of the TRNC will be much clearer and brighter by directing the existing potential to strategic breakthroughs, he added.
He said the agreement will help cushion the TRNC’s economy from the virus’ impact and help further solidify the Turkey-TRNC brotherhood.
***- ‘Pact very important for TRNC’
***In his speech at the ceremony, TRNC Prime Minister Ersin Tatar thanked Turkey for its continued support, calling it “incredibly important in terms of strengthening the infrastructure and competitiveness of the TRNC.”
***He went on to say that with the government's timely decisions and the public help, the country successfully passed the COVID-19 process and the future is promising.
*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin