President Mustafa Akıncı has sent a letter to the head of the EU Commission Ursula Von Der Leyen and the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres to draw attention to the Greek Cypriot side’s mistake of closing the four border checkpoints.
Akıncı on Thursday toured the Arasta pedestrian shopping area close to the Lokmacı [Ledera] crossing point, meeting with local shopkeepers.
Speaking during the visit, Akıncı vowed to do everything in his capacity for the reopening of the crossing points.
He said he hoped the decision would be reversed on Monday but he did not seem optimistic.
“The closure of the crossing points on the Greek Cypriot side is not a decision related to the coronavirus, but is due to different reasons,” Akıncı said, adding that it was not supported by the UN or the EU.
“We’ve seen schools being shut in Italy but the carnival in Limassol was not cancelled. It’s disappointing and saddening to see the crossing points, particularly the Derinya and Aplıç crossing points which were opened after Mr Anastasiades and I put in so much effort, being closed, ” he added.
Akıncı also referred to the phone call with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades on Wednesday about the issue of migrants, which he added was another excuse being made up by the Greek Cypriot side.
“The migrants arrive in the south in small boats and in few numbers. In no way is there a policy whereby Turkey is deliberately sending migrants to Cyprus. These people do not cross south through the crossings but through gaps along the border. As I’ve said earlier it is out of the question for us to organise and send these people across the dividing line, ”Akıncı added.
He warned the shopkeepers about taking necessary precautions against the virus and said that tourist arrivals could drop this year due to the virus.
“We all need to be patient and careful,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesman Barış Burcu announced later on Thursday that the president had sent letters to the head of the EU Commission Ursula Von Der Leyen and the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres to draw attention to the mistake of the decision taken by the Greek Cypriot side.
Burcu said the letters had been handed over to the Director of the EU Support Office Arttu Makipaa to be handed to the EU Commission and sent to the Good Offices Mission Office in Nicosia to be delivered to the UN Secretary-General.