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Bicommunal groups unite to press for more crossings

The Ledra Street crossing

One hundred and eight organisations, political parties, trade unions and NGOs are expected to participate Saturday in a bicommunal event titled: “For peace and a solution open all roads!”

Organisers Elias Demetriou and Sener Elzil said the event is motivated by the urgent need to re-kindle talks on the basis of the Guterres framework for a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality and the implementation of confidence building measures (CBMs) to improve people’s daily lives.

Demetriou, who heads opposition Akel’s rapprochement bureau, said one such CBM was the opening of new crossing points throughout the island, an unfulfilled request that should be satisfied immediately. Saturday’s mobilisation is a first step in the process, he added.

“This is the beginning. Our goal is to escalate our efforts in cooperation with all who are working in the same direction until we achieve this.” According to Demetriou, opening new crossings in Nicosia (Famagusta and Paphos Gates), in the area of ​​Athienou and Louroudjina, in Kokkina, and elsewhere, has been on the discussion table for at least eight years and it is time now for decisions to be taken.

Sener Elzil, secretary of the Turkish Cypriot teachers’ union, echoed the statement, saying “We will continue the fight together, for a Cyprus without barbed wire dividing it and without foreign troops. Even though economic and political conditions are bad on both sides of the island, they cannot hold us back.” He added that these very conditions demand even greater cooperation between the two communities and that is why every effort will be made.

New crossing points will facilitate the economic, political and cultural co-operation of the two communities, and a lasting peace, Elzil said.

Elzil invited the broader public to support and participate in the event, emphasising that “Our basic goal is a solution.”

The event will take place Saturday, March 26, at 11:30 am.  Those attending from the north will gather in Kougioulou Park and those from the south on Salaminos Street, near the entrance of the Famagusta Gate moat. They will walk in parallel and around 12:15 they will reach both sides of the roadblock that leads to Famagusta Gate, where they will release balloons.

A joint document detailing their requests to the UN Secretary General will be submitted to the Unficyp.

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