President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, has said that the reasons for which restrictions have been imposed at some of the crossing points operating across the dividing line have not been lifted, noting at the same time that he is trying to avoid the worsening of the relations between the two communities in Cyprus.
In statements at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday evening, and invited to comment on references by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, with regard to the temporary suspension of operation of four crossing points between the government-controlled and the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, Anastasiades said that “we have taken a decision which is based on scientific data.”
The Council of Ministers decided last Friday the suspension of the operation of four crossing points at Ledra Street, Astromeritis, Lefka, and Deryneia as a precaution against COVID-19. The measure was put into force as of Saturday morning at 06:00 local time.
Anastasiades said that there are continuous complaints on the part of the Turkish Cypriot side, as regards the identification of those passing through the crossing points by the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus.
Anastasiades who contacted on Wednesday Akinci, said that he called on the Turkish Cypriot side to assume its duties as regards the checks of people who arrive from Turkey to the illegal airport of Tymbou in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus in order to avoid the distortion of the demographic character of Cyprus and pressures due to the presence of thousands of refugees or immigrants.
He said that the reply of the Turkish Cypriot leader is that he is not aware of this, Anastasiades said and stressed that the Republic of Cyprus is a state government by law and takes measures for the protection of both communities. “Therefore I do not accept any complaints or taking decisions jointly for issues that purely concern the sovereign Republic of Cyprus,” he added.
The President also noted that the competent ministerial committee is looking into measures which will be announced once they are taken.
He noted that no one is prohibited from going to the Turkish occupied areas as five crossing points remain open.
“I was the one who asked for the opening of more crossing points,” he said calling on Akinci to say why he did not allow the opening of the crossing point at Limnitis or Pyroi.
Therefore I do not accept that the measures which one government considers that it must take, as all the governments around the world, are something against one or the other community, he concluded.