Greek Cypriot side reserved over prospects to open Deryneia crossing

Greek Cypriot side reserved over prospects to open Deryneia crossing

No agreement has been reached at the present stage for lifting a roadblock in Deryneia that leads to the Turkish-occupied city of Famagusta, in the western coast of Cyprus. Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots have maintained diverging proposals over the issue, following an announcement by the island`s leaders to open a crossing point last May.

However, a Greek Cypriot source with knowledge on the subject told the Cyprus News Agency that the Turkish Cypriot side appears ready to “seriously” discuss Greek Cypriot proposals, during a forthcoming meeting of the Technical Committee for the Opening of Crossing Points, scheduled for October 7th.

As CNA learns, the Turkish Cypriot side is expected to present its views and ideas on the Greek Cypriot proposal at the bicommunal Committee, tasked with opening more crossing points. This proposal envisages the use of the old road that leads straight to Turkish-occupied Famagusta, past Varosha, the fenced off part of the city.

No agreement was reached in the previous three meetings of the Technical Committee, where the Turkish Cypriot side insisted on using an alternative route, taking into account security considerations.

The Turkish occupation army is in control of Varosha, while it maintains a military post close to the roadblock in Deryneia.

The same sources spoke however of “small indications” that the Turkish Cypriot side would be ready to discuss the “more rational” Greek Cypriot proposal in the October 7 meeting.

At the same time, the Greek Cypriot side remains reserved over the final outcome.

It is also noted that once a decision is taken to lift the roadblock, a lot of work remains to be done, to widen the old road and clear the area of mines, as of yet, however, there are no timetables for that.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-led talks, aiming to reunite the island under a federal roof, resumed on May 15, this year.