Key part of Cyprus barrier demolished (Cyprus)

Greek Cypriots have dismantled a key section of the Green Line, which separates them from the island's Turkish population.


Checks for mines would have to be made and derelict buildings shored-up before any civilian crossing could open. Speaking in Brussels where he is attending an EU Summit, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said Turkey would also have to remove its soldiers from the area.

"Once they agree to withdraw their troops, our checkpoint can be removed in a few hours time, 24 hours time. So, now we will see. Will the Turkish troops withdraw so the passage would be open or not?" he asked.

The island has been split on ethnic lines since 1974 when Turkey invaded the north in reaction to a Greek Cypriot coup. Any new crossing in Nicosia would be the sixth linking the north to the south since the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus eased restrictions on visits in 2003.

Von: 09.03.2007

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