Re-opening of border crossing points delayed

The TRNC security authorities are insisting on building an alternative road prior to reopening the border crossing at Derinya.

They point out that at a protest held by Greek Cypriots in 1996 led to the death of Solomos Solomou, who was shot in the head by a Turkish officer, when he climbed up a flag pole in an attempt to remove a Turkish flag.

Since Presidents Akinci and Anastasiades agreed on the opening of two border crossing points in Derinya and Aplic, it is estimated that the opening of both crossing points will take a while.

Famagusta Initiative activist, Serdar Atai told ‘Kibris Gazetesi’ that the problem stems from the concerns of the security authorities who are worried that the Greek Cypriots will use the existing border crossing at Derinya as a means of “counter-propaganda” because of Solomou’s death. “We do not want to hear military pretexts any more”, noted Atai adding that they had conveyed this view to UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide during their last meeting. He said that they expect an agreement to be reached on the route of the crossing point by the end of August.

UN spokesman Aleem Siddique told the newspaper that a lot of work needs to be done for the opening of both crossing points and added that there are technical problems. Siddique said that the UN will tarmac the road at both crossing points and on both sides of the Green Line.

In addition, the co-chairman of the committee of Lefka-Aplic area and chairman of Lefka foundation trustee committee, Vehip Nekipzade said that the works are proceeding very slowly. He noted that they had expected the road to be opened by October but it seems that this will not happen until the end of the year.

Kibris Gazetesi

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