Two new border crossing points opened in Cyprus on Monday, on the island that has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied a third of the island’s northern area.
The checkpoints of Dherynia, which is just a few kilometers from the occupied region of Famagusta, and Apliki-Lefka, opened to hundreds of Greek and Turkish Cypriots who immediately traveled through the new crossings.
“Today is good day 4 #Cyprus . We welcome opening of 1st crossing points in 8 years. These crossing pts will play an important role by increasing people-to-people contacts; contribute 2 build much-needed trust & confidence b/w communities.”- Elizabeth Spehar, SRSG/Head, #UNFICYP pic.twitter.com/5QW182YPau
— UN Cyprus (@UN_CYPRUS) November 12, 2018
The checkpoints opened amid great enthusiasm from both populations on the divided island, marking the first crossings to happen in the last eight years. The checkpoints were opened in an effort to revive the peace talks between the two communities of the island.
In order for the crossings to open, soldiers had to remove rusted barbed wire that had been there, cutting the road in half, since the 1970’s.
”Today is good day for Cyprus. We welcome the opening of the first crossing points in eight years. These crossing points will play an important role by increasing people-to-people contacts and contribute to build much-needed trust and confidence between communities”, stated Elizabeth Spehar, the UN special representative and head of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus.
With information from C.N.A.