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Greek, Turkish Cypriots Strengthen Cooperation amid Coronavirus

Αssociated Press

Supermoon is seen above a nearly deserted street of capital Nicosia, on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Leaders of rival sides in Cyprus renewed a pledge to strengthen cooperation because of the coronavirus.

Cyprus’ government spokesman Kyriakos says next week it will deliver medication and protective equipment to Turkish Cypriots in the island nation’s breakaway north.

The medication will include quantities of chloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that Cypriot authorities are prescribing to virus patients with mild symptoms who are convalescing at home.

Koushios says the delivery will be made on the request of Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci during a phone call with President Nicos Anastasiades. Both agreed Akinci to stay in contact and to bolster the work of a health committee made up of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

All nine crossing points along a 120-mile U.N. controlled buffer zone separating the north from the internationally recognized south were shut last month. U.N. spokesman Aleem Siddique says the peacekeeping force is ready to assist both sides in the delivery.