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Cyprus

‘Failure to open Dherynia crossing point is deplorable’

NGO #UniteCyprusNow said on Saturday it was deplorable that the Dherynia crossing point, which the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders agreed to open at the onset of negotiations in 2015, was still closed.

Visiting the area earlier in the day, the group said that for the 30 months since the leaders made the promise, the lack of common will, lack of coordination and lack of willingness by all sides including the UN “have become the biggest obstacles in front of opening the Dherynia crossing point”.

A statement issued late Saturday said that on the northern side of the crossing point, the 2.8 kilometres of asphalting financed by the European Union has been completed and the wire fencing has been renewed, while the public tender to bring electricity to the region has not been launched yet.

“There is no apparent work on constructing pavements or enabling telephone connections. In the 150-metre road in the buffer zone under UN’s responsibility, no apparent action has been taken, while the 300 metres on the southern side of the Dherynia road look largely ready,” the statement said.

“Since they started negotiations to find a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem in May 2015, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades have failed both in achieving a settlement and in materialising any confidence building measures,” it added.

The group called on the two leaders, the sides and the UN to open the crossing point that will connect the town of Famagusta after 43 years, “contribute to the relations, reconciliation and trust between the two communities, and greatly benefit tourism activities”.

“Keep the promise you made 30 months ago: Open the Dherynia gate and urgently take steps to facilitate daily life on the island and bring the communities together,” they said.

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