President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Talat agree to open Limnitis crossing point
Nicosia, Jun 26 – The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias, and Mr. Mehmet Ali Talat, the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, have reached an agreement for the opening of the Limnitis crossing point and the access to and from Kokkina.
The decision was taken during the 34th meeting between the two leaders, in the framework of the direct negotiation process aiming at finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.
In statements after the meeting and at the presence of the two leaders, UN Secretary General’s Special Representative in Cyprus, Tayee Brook Zerihoun said that he had the pleasant duty to read the agreement reached on the opening of Limnitis and access to and from Kokkina.
“One, the two leaders decided to proceed with the opening of Limnitis crossing point under normal rules of existing crossings.
Two, in the context of this agreement, the role of UNFICYP is underscored.
Three, crossing of persons wishing to visit Kokkina will take place with the escort of UNFICYP. The visits will be made by minibuses on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Turkish Cypriot side may request UNFICYP escort for one or two extra minibuses a week.
Four, there will be transfer of reasonable quantities of food and water and other supplies of non-military nature with UNFICYP escort to Kokkina.
Five, Kokkina will be connected to the nearest electricity grid before the opening of the crossing point.
Six, humanitarian issues: Ambulances will be able to visit Kokkina to move sick persons. The rules governing the crossing of ambulances will apply. Reciprocally, Greek Cypriot ambulances will cross in the opposite direction to hospitals in Nicosia. In case of fire, Turkish Cypriot fire engines and accompanying water tanks will be able to call at Kokkina.
Seven, there will be reciprocal arrangements from time to time for specific events through this and other crossing points”, Zerihoun concluded.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
Ever since the 1974 Turkish invasion, Greek Cypriot residents in the area of Limnitis, located at the northwestern coast of Cyprus, have to travel to Paphos, on the western coast, and Limassol, on the south, in order to reach the capital Nicosia. Opening a crossing point at Limnitis would make this journey far shorter. In the recent past, several crossing points to and from the island’s northern Turkish occupied areas have opened to facilitate the movement of people.