Cyprus talks lead to visa-free transit points

Small but symbolic result of meeting between leaders

15 May, 15:17

    Cyprus Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders meet in Nicosia Cyprus Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders meet in Nicosia

    (ANSAmed) - NICOSIA, MAY 15 - Initial signs of detente were seen on Friday in Cyprus between the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities.
    With immediate effect, the Turkish-Cypriot police stationed at the transit points between the Republic of Cyprus in the south and the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' in the north (recognized only by Ankara) will no longer ask those crossing from one side to the other to fill out a small form with passport data that, once stamped, acted as a sort of visa.
    This is the first result, seemingly small but tangible and strongly symbolic, of the first meeting between Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades and the newly elected Turkish-Cypriot president Mustafa Akinci, which marked a resumption of reunification talks interrupted by Anastasiades on October 8, 2014.
    The announcement that the need for a 'visa' would be lifted by the Turkish-Cypriot side was given at the end of the Friday meeting, which lasted a few hours. Taking part was also UN Special Advisor Espen Barth Eide, UN Special Representative Lisa Buttenheim and the head negotiators of the two communities, Greek-Cypriot Andreas Mavroyiannis and Ozdil Nami, former head of Turkish-Cypriot diplomacy.
    The two leaders ''pledged to work tirelessly to reach a solution as soon as possible,'' Eide said in speaking to journalists at the end of the meeting.
    Anastasiades and Akinci agreed to draw up measures for mutual trust that both communities would benefit from. The lifting of 'visa' requirements was one.
    ''Mr. Akinci announced that starting tomorrow there will no longer be the obligation to fill out the entrance form at the transit points,'' Eide said.
    However, many sources on the ground say that the measure had already been applied from the morning, with many Greek-Cypriots and foreigners crossing from one side to the other without having to fill out the form and have it stamped. (ANSAmed).

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