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  • Opening of new check point a positive move forward in Cyprus

    first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders agreed on Friday to open a new checkpoint linking the two sides of the divided island.The crossing point, in a remote semi-mountainous region in the northwest of the island, had long been demanded by locals living on both sides.“The two leaders decided to proceed with the opening of the Yesilirmak/Limnitis crossing point under normal rules of existing crossings,” Taye-Brook Zerihoun, the United Nations special representative for Cyprus, said.It was not immediately clear when the checkpoint would open. The checkpoint, known as Yesilirmak in Turkish and Limnitis in Greek, will be the seventh crossing linking the island’s estranged Greek and Turkish Cypriots, separated by a UN-policed buffer zone splitting the island from east to west.European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, on a fleeting visit to Cyprus on Thursday, said the EU would finance part of the cost of the new checkpoint.“This is very good news and an excellent response to the call I made yesterday to both leaders to agree on confidence-building measures and move forward in the negotiations to reunify the country,” Barroso said in a statement.“This agreement shows that when there is a will there is a way.”The opening of the new crossing had been delayed by disagreements over Turkish Cypriot supplies and access to a military outpost in a coastal pocket of territory surrounded by Greek Cypriots. The dispute hinged on how to get fuel supplies, which the troops needed for a generator and a tractor, to the outpost.The small enclave would be connected to the nearest electricity grid, which is in Greek Cypriot territory, and nonmilitary supplies would be taken there by road under UN escort, the UN said.last_img read more