Unficyp spokesman Aleem Siddique said on Monday that there was no change at the Pyla to Arsos road construction site in the buffer zone, despite Turkish Cypriot media claims that the unauthorised works would continue.

Turkish and Turkish Cypriot media reported earlier that road construction would continue at “normal rates” on Monday.

However, Siddique told the Cyprus News Agency, that works were not in evidence on Monday morning.

“There is no change since yesterday, not even construction machinery or personnel inside the dead zone anymore,” the Unficyp spokesman said.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and maintaining a presence in the area and are on alert to prevent any reoccurrence of arbitrary operations in this area,” he added.


The latest information from the Turkish Cypriot media, said the repair and widening of the road on the United Nations (UN) controlled Green Line “continued with low intensity on Sunday morning, due to the weekend and the specific works were completed at noon on Sunday.”

According to Anadolou Agency, workers on Sunday completed foundation works for the new road.

Asked to comment on the media reports that works would resume on Monday, Siddique said, “Yes, rumours are circulating. We are in the area, monitoring the situation and there was no repetition of the work.

“We will take action to stop any recurrence,” he reiterated.

The Unficyp spokesman said information is being relayed to New York where the UN security council will be discussing the developments during a scheduled closed session that will take place at 10pm Cyprus time.

The meeting had been planned as a consultation on the Middle East and Syria, however, the developments in Pyla have been added to the agenda.

The news comes following a widely condemned incident on Friday, during which three UN peacekeepers sustained minor injuries, following a scuffle with police forces from the north.

The Turkish Cypriot media, however, claimed that the area is secured by police from the north and that during the works UN personnel and vehicles are not allowed to enter the construction zone in any way.

Meanwhile, on Monday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ministers are expected to discuss the issue of Pyla in Ankara.

Government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis on Thursday condemned the move to construct the road, after the north’s ‘foreign ministry’ announced “improvements” to be carried out on the road, which is currently closed to the public.

Letymbiotis said the north’s authorities are “attempting to create new settlements within the dead zone by planning an illegal entry into the area” and added that the road will connect Arsos with an “advanced illegal military outpost”.

“This is an attempt to seriously violate the status quo”, he said, adding that the Cypriot government is working to prevent the plans from going ahead.

Earlier announcements from the north’s ‘foreign ministry’ had presented the road’s construction as a humanitarian project to ease the transportation of Turkish Cypriot residents of Pyla, and listed similar Greek Cypriot activities within the buffer zone.

The incident has sparked condemnation on the local and international front, including from the British High Commission, the French Embassy, the US Embassy, and the Armenian Embassy in Greece.

Russia is the only permanent member of the Security Council that has not addressed the incident to date.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, issued a statement condemning the assault, saying “threats to the safety of UN peacekeepers and damage to UN property are unacceptable and may constitute serious crimes under international law”.