Cyprus Mail

‘All calm’ in Pyla as works remain on hold

un pyla
An Unficyp officer raises a UN flag in Pyla [Source: CNA]

“All remains calm” in Pyla on Tuesday, with construction work paused, United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (Unficyp) spokesman Aleem Siddique told the Cyprus Mail.

“Peacekeepers are monitoring the situation, and there is no construction work being carried out by either side” in the area Siddique added.

He said the pause “was initiated by the UN after concerns were raised by the Turkish Cypriot side” and added that Unficyp is “liaising with the Turkish Cypriot side to address their concerns”.

Overnight, Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar held a telephone call with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Tatar described the call as “constructive, positive and mutually understanding”.

“I brought up the Greek Cypriot activities that violated the consensus we reached, especially on the road between Pyla and Arsos,” he said.

“I told [Guterres] that there have been attempts to disrupt these works by the Greek Cypriot moves to create new faits accomplis in recent days, that we do not want more tensions, and that what needs to be done is for the Greek Cypriot leadership to stop its violations which will affect the road.”

Greek Cypriot construction teams had entered the area in question on the basis that they were upholding the part of the mutual understanding which pertains to a “civil use area” including residential properties and a solar farm.

The mutual understanding contained designs for 400 plots of land north of the village, which are set to be turned into residential properties. In addition, a large solar farm is set to be built in a vacant area northwest of the village.

UN sources had earlier confirmed to the Cyprus Mail that Greek Cypriot entries into the buffer zone were authorised and did fall in line with the mutual understanding after Turkish Cypriot ‘foreign minister’ Tahsin Ertugruloglu called a press conference to demand the Greek Cypriot side “immediately” stop work” in the buffer zone.

On Monday, President Nikos Christodouides had said the UN had asked the Greek Cypriot side “that there be a short pause and that everything would go back to how things had been set out in the mutual understanding.”

His comments came after reports had surfaced in the Turkish Cypriot media that Greek Cypriot construction workers had “encroached on TRNC territory”, while Pergamos mayor Bulent Bebek said soldiers and police had been mobilised in the area to prevent anyone from entering.

Newspaper Yeni Duzen said there had been “verbal tensions” in a meeting between Turkish Cypriot and Unficyp officials earlier in the day, while Turkish Cypriot reporters were refused the right to pass through the Pergamos checkpoint by Turkish Cypriot police.



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