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Prominent lawyer proposes bicommunal Covid hospital at old Nicosia airport

The front of the once celebrated terminal building of Nicosia airport

A hospital in the abandoned Nicosia airport in the buffer zone, providing health care to Covid-19 patients from both sides of the divide, built with the financial contribution of the the EU and the UN and operated under the bi-communal Technical Committee for health is being proposed by lawyer, Achilleas Demetriades.

In statements to CNA explaining the rationale behind the proposal, Demetriades said that the fight against Covid-19 still hangs in the balance and that there may be a second wave of the pandemic. In the meantime, he added, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has clarified that he considers it necessary to develop confidence-building measures (CBMs) between the two sides in Cyprus.

Demetriades said that the main goal was to tackle the pandemic “because the virus does not stop at the Green Line and poses dangers for the whole island,” adding that in order to implement this proposal he has started having consultations with the UN, the EU, the bi-communal Technical Committee, the government of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot side.

The Nicosia airport area has easy access for ambulances from both sides of the Green Line, he noted.

According to the Greek Cypriot lawyer given the bi-communal nature of the initiative, international bodies such as the EU and the UN, which already provide funding for such projects, could contribute to the construction, equipment and operation of the hospital as a CBM with a really positive impact on the lives of Cypriots.

The Bicommunal Technical Committee for health could take action along with EU and the UN in order for the project to be launched as soon as possible, he added. Covid-19 patients would also be able to be treated in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

“Apart from the medical care, which has clear benefits for the people, we will be able to recover and use a part of the buffer zone, a territory of the Republic of Cyprus,” he pointed out. In addition, in these difficult times for Cyprus, new jobs would be created for doctors and nurses as well as in the construction sector, Demetriades said.

Such a creative and beneficial CBM would send the message that the Republic of Cyprus is the home of all Cypriots, upgrading us in the perception of the international community in view of Cyprus reunification talks, he stated.

Demetriades described his proposal as ambitious “but achievable with the necessary political will.”

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