Only medical supplies will be carried on Wednesday to Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the north as breakaway Turkish Cypriot authorities insist on taxing other goods, the UN said.
The decision to tax food supplies and other items like baby diapers was enforced by Turkish Cypriots last week. The UN carries the supplies to the so-called enclaved every Wednesday.
“There has been no further developments since we issued our press statement. At this stage we have nothing further to add to that we have said already,” Unficyp spokesperson Aleem Siddique told the Cyprus News Agency.
Last Wednesday, Unficyp said it was forced to limit the day’s delivery to medical aid supplies, following the Turkish Cypriot administration’s unilateral decision to impose taxes and fees on other humanitarian goods.
“Unficyp regrets the decision taken by the Turkish Cypriot administration, which it considers to be an unfortunate development.”
Delivering humanitarian assistance in the northern part of the island was based on a longstanding agreement between the sides known as Vienna III, “and provides hundreds of elderly and other vulnerable people with basic supplies on a weekly basis.”
Turkish Cypriots argue that the agreement no longer applied, especially since the opening of access points in 2003.
The government has said it was trying to ensure the supplies got to the enclaved and was concentrating on efforts to reverse the decision, which has also exposed a rift in the Turkish Cypriot administration.
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has publicly criticised ‘foreign minister’ Tahsin Ertugruloglu for imposing the tax, saying it was akin to shooting oneself in the foot.
At the end of the second phase of the Turkish invasion late in August 1974, about 20,000 Greek and Maronite Cypriots living in villages and townships primarily in the Karpas peninsula in the northeast and in villages west of Kyrenia remained behind the ceasefire line.
According to April 2013 figures, only 437 people remain – 328 Greek Cypriots and 109 Maronite Cypriots. These persons are known as the ‘enclaved’.