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Cyprus

Security of buffer zone residents is ministry’s concern

File photo of a previous incident in Denia

Works of the Turkish army near Denia remain outside the buffer zone, the foreign ministry said on Friday, however the feeling of security of residents in the area has raised.

Speaking to CyBC radio, foreign ministry spokesman Theodoros Gotsis said that the government is focused on increasing the sense of security among the residents in the area.

Recently the Turkish forces have been spotted by residents in Denia conducting digging works that are thought to be anti-tank trenches.

Gotsis added that the wider policy of the Turkish side does not only concern the state but anyone that wants talks on the Cyprus problem to restart.

Commenting on the latest Cyprus problem developments and the impending arrival of the UN envoy Maria Angela Holguin Cuellar, who is to examine possibilities for restarting talks, Gotsis said that President Nikos Christodoulides has expressed his support with the goal of removing the impasse.

He added that what is important, is that she is given the time and support to carry out her mission.

Referring to the Secretary-General’s reports on Unficyp, Gotsis pointed out that some of Antonio Guterres’ reports are underwhelming, while in several cases there is no accurate record of events.

However, he said it was positive that Guterres shared the concern of the Greek Cypriot side about the ongoing violations of the buffer zone by the breakaway regime.

People living in the village of Denia are facing fresh challenges, according to community leader Christakis Panayiotou.

Panayiotou added that the Turkish Cypriot forces appear to be constructing an anti-tank trench estimated to be four to five metres wide and three to four metres deep.

These actions, observed by local farmers, have sparked worries about increased tensions in the area.

In response to the developments, Christodoulides said “the safety of residents in areas adjacent to the buffer zone remains unaffected.”

During a ceremony at Tepak University, Christodoulides addressed the recent challenges in Denia, stressing the immediate briefing on Turkish Cypriot actions and the anticipated submission of a relevant note.

Unficyp has said that all is calm in the buffer zone and the works are outside the UN area.

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