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Politics

Cyprus Wants More Barriers On Occupied Turkish-Cypriot Green Line

January 24, 2022

NICOSIA – A number of crossing points at the Green Line separating the legitimate Cypriot government side of the capital Nicosia from the occupying Turkish-Cypriot side should be supplemented by more barriers, Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said.

He told state broadcaster CyBC that it’s necessary to protect an external border of the European Union, of which the Greek-Cypriot side is a member while the occupied territory unrecognized except by Turkey is not.

He noted there are now barriers, such as barbed wire already up along the buffer zone near Astromeritis, Peristerona and Akaki, with the plan being to cover a remaining 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) to the abandoned Nicosia airport.

The barbed wire began going up in March 2021 despite widespread criticism it represented a fence although Nicosia is already the last divided capital in Europe, apart from a wall still in Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Opposition partis and farmers whose fields in the buffer zone were difficult to access once the barbed wire was put in place also denounced the move although the government said some 75 percent of migrants cross at those points from the occupied land.

Nouris said with the signing of a joint communiqué at the European Border Management Conference held in Lithuania, the Cypriot government “can take whatever actions it wishes to address the migration problem without any political challenge, at least at a European level.

“Financing the installation of physical barriers is not a problem. What Cyprus is demanding, is for the EU to take initiatives towards Turkey, so that our issues are recognized as in the rest of the European countries as we figure out ways on how to manage the migration problem,” he said.

The northern third has been occupied since two unlawful 1974 invasions by Turkey and repeated attempts to negotiate a reunification have failed, with Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar now demanding recognition for his side.

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