The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) is seeking clarity from the Turkish Cypriot side on the situation regarding the crossing points along the buffer zone, its spokesperson has told the Cyprus News Ageny.
Aleem Siddique noted that “while the UN supports all measures required to address the health crisis, we are concerned by the ongoing disruption caused to people on both sides of the island.”
“It is imperative for the sides to continue coordinating closely on the opening of the crossing points. The mission stands ready to assist both sides on the way forward,” he concluded.
President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci reached a mutual understanding on May 21 to allow passage of certain groups of people from crossing points from June 8. People who wish to pass must show a negative COVID-19 test, to have taken place 72 hours prior to their crossing.
But the issue has become a point of contention in the Turkish occupied north between Akinci, who reached the understanding and has been pressing for its implementation, and the so-called government which has indicated crossings will be allowed as of July 1 when the requirement for a 14 day quarantine ends although some exceptions were made.
Yesterday, a total of 17 people crossed from the occupied areas to the government-controlled areas on Tuesday. Eight of them are Turkish Cypriot workers who are understood to have made arrangements to stay in the government controlled area.