NICOSIA, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Negotiators of the international lenders will return to Cyprus on Thursday to restart talks with the island country on an assistance programme, a government spokesman said Wednesday.
"The government has been informed that a team from the troika is arriving in Cyprus tomorrow and negotiations will resume with the aim of reaching a loan program agreement," government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said in a statement on Wednesday.
The announcement on the return of the troika negotiators from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, was a surprise as it contradicted statements just two days ago that negotiations would be delayed.
A spokesman for Economy and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told the Cyprus News Agency reporter in Brussels on Monday that the Commission was not yet in a position to announce the date of the troika's next mission to Cyprus.
Also, a spokesman for Germany's finance minister had said in Berlin that discussions with Cyprus were continuing at a moderate pace and a deal before 2013 would be difficult.
Negotiations on a bailout agreement are expected to face difficulties, as Germany, the main contributor to a Cyprus bailout, has asked that the issue of the island's low corporate tax, not discussed yet, be included in the negotiations.
Cyprus requested in June assistance from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to recapitalize its two largest banks, which suffered heavy losses on account of its exposure to the Greek debt problem, and also to finance its budget.