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Cyprus Government had proposed opening of Ledra Street crossing back in 2005
2006-12-28 13:46:30

The Cyprus Government had submitted a proposal to demolish a bridge to allow the opening of the Ledra Street crossing point back in 2005, President Papadopoulos clarified today.

The President was responding to press reports suggesting that the Turkish side was about to announce the demolition of the bridge to allow opening of the Ledra Street crossing point in the heart of Nicosia.

The President also said: “We have submitted our proposals on this topic to the United Nations about the removal of the bridge as well as all the symbols that indicate a border crossing and not a crossing point.''

Moreover, Cyprus Government Spokesman Christodoulos Pashiardis had eariler recalled that the Greek Cypriot side put forward end of 2005 and on 8 July 2006 to the United Nations a set of proposals regarding the opening of the Ledra Street crossing point.

He also said: “We insist on our proposals that we consider rational and constructive and we are ready and willing to enter a dialogue with the Turkish Cypriot side for a smooth, unhindered and without political expediencies opening of the Ledra Street crossing point with an aim to achieve contact and communication between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, as lawful citizens of the Republic of Cyprus.”

Among the measures that the Greek Cypriot side had put forward to the UN for a new crossing point at Ledra Street were the dismantling by the National Guard (Cyprus Army) of the wall with, in parallel, removal by the Turkish side of the new bridge, military disengagement at and around the crossing point, end of Turkish Armed Forces’ patrols in the area, removal by both sides of the emblems, flags and materials of offensive and provocative nature and restoration of buildings in the area for civilian use.

Earlier today, a statement by the office of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat said that he had decided the removal of a footbridge that the occupation regime constructed last year at the northern end of the UN-controlled buffer zone dividing Ledra Street in the old town of Nicosia, “with the purpose of contributing to the decision of the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides to resume the comprehensive settlement negotiations within the first quarter of 2007 and also, to the promotion of the cooperation sense of the two peoples.”

There are another five crossing points between the government controlled area and the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus.

In a press release, the UN Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) said it “welcomes this positive contribution to efforts to realize the opening of a crossing point at this location. UNFICYP stands ready to assist both sides in agreeing on practical arrangements to move this much anticipated process forward.”

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