Home Page >> Cyprus Talks 2 March 2020, Monday 10:08

President Akıncı hopes 'mistake of closing checkpoints will be corrected'

President Akıncı hopes 'mistake of closing checkpoints will be corrected'

President Mustafa Akıncı has described Greek Cypriot cabinet’s decision to close four checkpoints as part of measures to prevent an outbreak of coronavirus as a mistake and expressed the hope it will be reversed.

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President Mustafa Akıncı has described Greek Cypriot cabinet’s decision to close four checkpoints as part of measures to prevent an outbreak of coronavirus as a mistake and expressed the hope it will be reversed.

In a post published from his official social media account, Akıncı said he had telephoned Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades on Saturday night about what he described as a ‘chaotic situation’ at the Kermiya- Metahan (Ayios Dhometios) checkpoint where long lines had formed after the introduction of additional screening measures.

“I pointed out that the situation created was nothing but torture and that it had nothing to do with the coronavirus struggle. In fact, I said that the virus is being planted between the two communities and that this should be stopped as soon as possible. I hope this last talk will lead to a positive development,” Akıncı said.

About an hour later, the President said Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades had called to inform him that ID checks for all those returning to the occupied areas through Kermiya (Ayios Dhometios) would cease.

“Mr. Anastasiades called me shortly after our phone call and announced that they will immediately remove the identity checks when crossing back to the North in Kermiya-Metehan. This is, of course, a step in the right direction, and correcting the mistake on this issue would be a good development. I hope the mistake to close the four crossing points will also be corrected,” Akinci wrote.

No incidents of the virus have been reported on either side of the Green Line.

But the Greek Cypriot government has said the temporary closure of four checkpoints were necessary to free resources so that screening can be carried out at the other checkpoints.

Greek Cypior officials have rejected criticism that coronavirus was being used as an excuse to hamper contact with the two communities saying this was a temporary, public heath issue.

On Saturday, President Akıncı  had criticised the closure saying it “had nothing to do with the coronavirus”.

The situation at the checkpoint was ‘chaotic’ and the Greek Cypriot government’s decision separated rather than united the two communities, he added.


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