Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot contractors met on Monday with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, putting forward a series of suggestions regarding the island’s reconstruction needs.
According to Cafer Gürcafer, the President of the Turkish Cypriot Contractors’ Association (KTIMB), Akinci appeared positive in creating a Technical Committee on reconstruction matters with representatives from the contractors’ federations from both sides.
Following a similar meeting with President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades last week, the two federations, OSEOK and KTIMB, presented a letter with their suggestions to Akinci. Amongst other requests, they ask for the operation of a public service office in the buffer zone to represent both contractors’ federations, the reconstruction and restoration of historical monuments and buildings located within the buffer zone through bi-communal construction consortia, as well as provisions for the reconstruction to be undertaken by local contractors, following a solution in Cyprus.
Gürcafer said that the potential in the construction sector is promising for the next 10 years, after a solution. OSEOK President Costas Roushas for his part expressed his content that they were discussing not just the reconstruction of buildings, but also the reconstruction of trust and friendship between the two communities.
The buffer zone that divides the two sides is a good place to start in order for people to return and resettle in the area, he said, expressing optimism on the matter following the meetings with both leaders.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-led talks, aiming to reunite the island under a federal roof, resumed on May 15, this year.