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Coronavirus: Decision on crossings expected soon

Developments are expected soon regarding the opening of crossings between the two sides according to reports and statements on Thursday.

The bicommunal technical committee on health is scheduled to meet on Friday to discuss the matter. Some media reports have quoted sources saying that the crossings are expected to open as early as next week.

Turkish Cypriot leader’s special representative Ergun Olgun announced on Thursday that the preparatory work carried out for reopening are close to completion.

“In this meeting, we expect a result based on the criteria set by the World Health Organisation,” Olgun said.

The results will then be discussed at a second meeting on Monday between the negotiators and representatives of the two sides under the auspices of the UN Special Representative and head of Unficyp Elizabeth Spehar. It will then be up to the political leadership of the two sides to decide.

“Our hope is to avoid politicising this very sensitive health issue,” Olgun said.

Olgun said that the two sides had reached an agreement, but after the steep rise in coronavirus cases in the south, the north had decided to close the crossing points until the situation improved. He added that this negative development delayed the process but now daily cases in the south had dropped to under 200.

“At this point, with the improvement of Covid-19 conditions, the measures implemented by the two parties and the harmonisation efforts have come to an end,” Olgun said.

There have been many calls in the north for the reopening of the crossings, especially from business circles. According to the results of a survey announced this week in the north, 82 per cent of people in the north want the crossing points to reopen.





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