A UN initiative aims to open more checkpoints in divided Cyprus with easier access for both drivers and pedestrians in a bid to boost trade opportunities.
This is what Philenews reports, following Wednesday’s signing of a joint statement by Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political parties as well as commercial organisations.
“The current crossing points do not satisfy the needs of the people using them,” said the statement which was preceded by a meeting under the umbrella of UN Special Representative Colin Stewart.
“Formalities and unnecessary procedures create further obstacles at the crossings, and that’s why the need is urgent for simplified and efficient mechanisms to reduce long queues and bureaucracy,” it added.
Potential locations under discussion are primarily focused on Athienou-Louroujina in Nicosia – both for pedestrian and vehicle access – and the Kokkina area in remote Paphos district.
The issue, however, is not currently being discussed at the level of bi-communal technical committees and is also not on the agenda of reunification talks which are currently at an impasse.
Nonetheless, the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEVE) and its counterpart in the north also strongly support the initiative since this would boost trade opportunities.
Cyprus is divided since a 1974 invasion by Turkey which still maintains troops in the breakaway northern part of the EU-member state.