Is Greek Cyprus softening?

Greek Cypriots began work on a new crossing point across the island's UN-patrolled ceasefire line only days after demolishing a wall that symbolized Nicosia as the world's last divided capital.

Is Greek Cyprus softening?

Greek Cypriot authorities began clearing the way foranother crossing point at Pyrgos-Limnitis about 45 kilometers(25 miles) northwest of Nicosia that would cut journey timesto and from the capital by more than half.

 Communications Minister Haris Thrassou told state radio theinfrastructure work would take several weeks to complete.

The minister said the decision to start construction on the crossing wasmade in anticipation of the Turkish side also agreeing to create an accesspoint there.

The Greek Cypriot government has taken the initiative after it demolished awall in Ledra Street,a pedestrian shopping area inside the Venetian walls of the old city,dismantling a border post between the Greek Cypriot south and the TurkishCypriot.

However, the government is adamant that people cannot cross Ledra as long asTurkish troops remain in the northern sector of Nicosia, and a makeshift partition hasreplaced the destroyed wall.

Cyprus has been dividedalong ethnic lines since 1974, when Turkeyseized its northern third in response to an Athens-engineered Greek Cypriotcoup in Nicosia aimed at uniting the island withGreece.

 A UN bid to reunite the island failed in 2004 when the Greek Cypriotsvoted against the plan in a referendum, although the Turkish Cypriots votedoverwhelmingly in favour.

If Ledra Streetand Limnitis do open it would make seven crossing points across the dividesince April 2003, when the Turkish Cypriots lifted entry restrictions to GreekCypriots for the first time.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16