Is the government dragging its heels over Derynia?

The Famagusta Initiative has accused the government of showing a lack of will on the issue of opening of the Derynia border crossing, a measure which the two community leaders had agreed on a long time ago.

In a statement signed by Okan Dagli, the Initiative argues that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) – National Unity Party (UBP) government persists in taking no initiative on the issue of the opening of crossing points.

Dagli noted that no concrete steps have been taken until now towards materialising the confidence building measures (CBM), according to the joint declaration. He said that the Initiative and the people living in the Famagusta are disappointed, especially about the issue of the opening of the Derynia crossing point.

Dagli accused the government of not announcing any timetable and of issuing no “serious statement” in particular, on the issue of the Derynia Famagusta crossing point. He said that the UN had confirmed that there were no problems left regarding the crossing and the only thing required to open the crossing is the completion of the infrastructure.

Describing as “thought provoking” the government’s unwillingness on the opening of crossing points, Dagli warned that if no steps are taken on the issue about which the people of Famagusta and the local area are “very sensitive”, there will be a reaction, similar to the protest held in May.

Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Kibris Postasi’ points out that the Initiative is actually criticising the stance of the major coalition partner, the CTP. According to the paper, the statement notes, inter alia, the following:

The stance of the CTP president Mehmet Ali Talat who, since the issue of the opening of Famagusta-Derynia crossing point came onto the agenda, tried to throw the ball into the military authorities’ court, which has had a negative effect on us. Another example of the government’s unwillingness is the fact that the Prime Minister Omer Kalyoncu has said absolutely nothing on the issue in relation to the stance of Mr Talat, who in speeches on various occasions, is still demonstrating his lack of political will, in spite of the fact that every kind of technical problem has been overcome.

The paper writes also that Gurdal Hudaoglu, Akinci’s adviser, stated yesterday that there is no political problem for the opening of new crossing points and that the routes are known. He noted that the technical infrastructure should be completed quickly.

Afrika, Kibris Postasi

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