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North accuses Greek Cypriots of misrepresenting Pyla road agreement

comment fahri turkish cypriot police confront un personnel in pyla (tak)
File photo: Turkish Cypriot police confront UN personnel in Pyla last summer (TAK)

The Greek Cypriot side did not back down on the issue of the Pyla-Arsos road and is just “creating impressions” for domestic consumption, the Turkish Cypriot ‘foreign ministry’ said on Wednesday.

The situation in Pyla was brought to the fore in August when the Turkish Cypriot authorities unilaterally announced their intention to build the road through the buffer zone between the two villages.

The Turkish Cypriot side had insisted the road was being built for “humanitarian” purposes, to ensure safe and quick passage for the Turkish Cypriots of the village to and from the north.

The Greek Cypriot side expressed fears that it would allow Turkish forces to strengthen their own positions. After a confrontation from the Turkish Cypriot side with UN personnel, a mutual understanding was reached earlier this month that would allow construction of the road after the matter reached the UN Security Council.

In a statement, the Turkish Cypriot ‘foreign ministry’ said that statements made by the Greek Cypriot side on the mutual understanding, were “not consistent with the facts”.

“It is clear that these false and distorted statements are intended to create impressions,” it said.

“The Greek Cypriot leadership is trying to portray the compromise reached as its own victory and present it as a step that allows the UN Security Council to expand its authority and its dominance in the region.”

The Turkish Cypriot side, on the other hand is only trying to satisfy “a long-overdue humanitarian need”.

“There is still an ongoing process and certain elements will be finalised as part of this process. We will continue to support with constructive understanding the steps that respect the status of Pyla,” it added.

“It is a legal obligation that all plans and projects concerning the buffer zone be implemented with the knowledge and approval of the Turkish side.”

The pushback from the Turkish side is likely related to reports that 400 plots of land north of Pyla will be converted into residential properties and a large solar farm is set to be built in a vacant area northwest of the village.

The mutual understanding will see construction on the road commence on October 23.

According to Politis on Wednesday, with the start of the preparatory work for the development of a large area in Pyla, the implementation of the agreement with the United Nations for the development of the area was underway and surveying works are expected to be completed by Friday.

In the first phase, the separation of the first 50 plots is expected to take place.

Turkish Cypriot ‘foreign minister’ Tahsin Ertugruloglu said on Sunday the Greek Cypriot side does not have good intentions over the Pyla agreement, while the stance of the UN remains to be seen,

He said there were some points that have not been clarified.

President Nikos Christodoulides has said he considers the development of the region to be essential.

The agreement provides for roads to be built and people and products will pass from the north to the government-controlled areas.

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