Cyprus Mail
CyprusDivided IslandFeatured

Government denies commencement of Pyla-Arsos road work

A UN vehicle is pushed out of the way by a Turkish Cypriot vehicle in Pyla
UN vehicle pushed out of the way by a Turkish Cypriot vehicle in Pyla in August

Government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis on Monday has denied reports in the north that work would begin on the controversial Pyla-Arsos road, which is deemed to be within the UN Buffer Zone.

In mid-August, men in the north punched and kicked a group of international peacekeepers who obstructed crews working on a road that would encroach on the UN controlled buffer zone.

The attack happened as peacekeepers stood in the way of work crews building a road to connect the village Arsos with the village of Pyla, inside the buffer zone.

Since then, the two sides have attempted to come to an agreement about the road, with the Greek Cypriot side requesting more zoning permission in Pyla for either agricultural or residential land.

Letymbiotis said on Monday that “negotiations on the issue continue, and we are in contact with the UN.”

He repeated President Christodoulides’ stance that the Greek Cypriot side will not proceed with any settlement that questions the status of the buffer zone and creates any military advantage for the occupation forces.

“When there is a settlement, then the public will be duly informed,” he added.

Earlier, reports in the north said that work would commence on the road, as an agreement had been reached.

According to Kibris Postasi, ‘foreign ministry’ sources told the website that work would recommence on Monday.

However, UN sources have told the Cyprus Mail all is quiet in the area for now, as no work had started yet.

According to the same information, the UN is close to reaching an agreement, and the hope is that it can be finalised this week.

At the beginning oof the month, daily Politis reported that a solution had been found to the controversial plan to create a road between Pyla and Arsos.

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.

Follow the Cyprus Mail on Google News

Related Posts

100-year-old ‘beaten’ by carer at care home

Tom Cleaver

‘Cyprus is not ready for gay marriage’

Nikolaos Prakas

Larnaca airport ‘in world’s top 20’

Tom Cleaver

Open wing at prison to open by month’s end

Tom Cleaver

Government employment increases by 5.2 per cent in January

Souzana Psara

Three arrested in north for selling Repubilc’s scratch cards

Tom Cleaver