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GC excuses delay crossing opening claims Ozersay

Photo: CNA

Turkish Cypriot ‘foreign minister’ Kudert Ozersay accused the Greek Cypriot side of using excuses not to open the Dherynia crossing, one being the demand for the removal of a Turkish military guard-post, which was not even manned.

In an interview with Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen published on Sunday, Ozersay, said that the building on which the guard-post was located, near the Dherynia crossing was in fact empty. During a visit to the area, however, he discovered that at the same distance from the crossing point, on the Greek Cypriot side, there was a camouflaged army building, in which there were a number of armed soldiers as well as a military guard-post.

Ozersay said he reported what he saw to the UN and then accompanied them to the area to show them. The Turkish Cypriot side, however, as a goodwill gesture, took into account all concerns and installed the cubicles to be used for monitoring the crossing on its side, away from the building in question.

“We took a step, we hope that this will not turn into an unnecessary confrontation and this crossing will open,” Ozersay said.

The plan was to convert the empty military building into offices for police and customs.

Ozersay said the Greek Cypriot side was looking for excuses not to open the crossing. It was no coincidence, he said, that the new objection coincided with reactions against the opening of the crossing by Greek Cypriots.

Both sides have been declaring their readiness to open the Dherynia and Lefka crossings as construction work had been completed at both. The Cyprus government has said however, that this could not be done in Dherynia before the Turkish military post near the crossing was moved so that people did not have to drive by it.

A Greek Cypriot source said earlier in the week, that the north did not seem to be taking action toward that end.

The opening of the two crossings was part of confidence building measures agreed by the two leaders in 2015.

 

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