NICOSIA – A number of crossing points on the Green Line separating the legitimate Cypriot government side of the capital Nicosia from the occupying Turkish Cypriot side should be supplemented with more barriers, Interior Minister Nicos Nouris has said.
He told state broadcaster CyBC that there was a need to protect an external border of the European Union, of which the Greek Cypriot side is a member while occupied territory not recognized except by Turkey is not.
He noted that there were now barriers, such as barbed wire already in place along the buffer zone near Astromeritis, Peristerona and Akaki, with the plan to cover the remaining 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) until at the abandoned airport in Nicosia.
The barbed wire began to go up in March 2021 despite widespread criticism it represented a fence despite Nicosia already being the last divided capital in Europe apart from a wall still in Belfast in Northern Ireland.
Opposition parties and farmers whose fields in the buffer zone were difficult to access after the barbed wire was put in place also denounced the move, although the government said around 75% of migrants cross at these points. from occupied lands.
Nouris said that with the signing of a joint communiqué at the European Conference on Border Management held in Lithuania, the Cypriot government “can take all the measures it wishes to solve the problem of migration without any political challenges, at least at European level.
“Funding for the installation of physical barriers is not a problem. What Cyprus is asking for is for the EU to take initiatives towards Turkey, so that our problems are recognized as in the rest of European countries as we find ways to deal with the migration problem,” he said. -he declares.
The northern third has been occupied since two illegal 1974 invasions by Turkey and repeated attempts to broker reunification have failed, with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar now demanding recognition from his side.