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‘Solution found’ in Pyla road saga

turkish cypriot police confront un personnel in pyla
File Photo: Turkish Cypriot police confront UN personnel in Pyla (TAK)

A solution has been found to the controversial plan to create a road between Pyla and Arsos, Politis newspaper said on Friday.

The daily claims the meetings held between the United Nations’ special representative in Cyprus Colin Stewart and the two sides eventually proved fruitful.

The road will be built, it reported, while a plan will be devised for the development of the village. This plan will include upgrading housing and agriculture in the area surrounding the village, as far north as Pergamos.

In addition, it is expected to be underlined that the sole responsibility for the buffer zone area will belong to the UN peacekeeping force (Unficyp) – something the Greek Cypriot side insisted on.

The newspaper stated that the agreement is “one step from ratification” having been agreed to by both sides.

Should the agreement be ratified, the next steps will likely be to devise which parts of Pyla’s surrounding area will be zoned in which ways, either for agriculture or residential properties, with local authorities also set to have a seat at the table.

The saga regarding a road between Pyla and Arsos has been ongoing since last month, and began when the Turkish Cypriot authorities unilaterally announced their intention to begin construction of the road on August 17.

Unficyp said construction of such a road would be “unauthorised” and promised to block the road should construction begin.

The following day, a UN peacekeeper was punched in the face, multiple others were hospitalised, and vehicles were rendered “undriveable” after being rammed off the road by Turkish Cypriot construction vehicles as they attempted to block the road.

The scenes provoked widespread global condemnation, including from all five members of the UN Security Council.

In light of this, high-level discussions between both sides of Cyprus and the UN continued with the aim of finding a “mutually acceptable way forward”.

Reports suggest that a way forward has now been found, but the north’s ‘foreign ministry’ told the Cyprus Mail it was not in a position to confirm the truth of the reports.

The Cyprus Mail also contacted the UN and the foreign ministry.

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