12° Nicosia,
23 May, 2024

Dedicated checkpoint lane eases travel for students and enclaved

New checkpoint initiative aims to streamline journeys for students and medical patients between Turkish-occupied and government-controlled areas

Newsroom / CNA

A dedicated lane has been established at the Ayios Dometios checkpoint in Nicosia to streamline the travel process for students residing in Turkish-occupied areas attending school in the government-controlled regions of the Republic, as well as for enclaved individuals seeking medical care. Head of Humanitarian Issues of Missing and Enclaved Persons, Anna Aristotelous, announced the immediate implementation of this initiative to alleviate the inconveniences faced by these individuals during their journeys.

The newly created lane is specifically designated for vehicles transporting students from occupied areas to their homes in both occupied villages and, notably, Kormakitis. Eligible users also include ailing enclaved residents from Rizokarpaso, Agia Triada, Agios Andronikos, Kormakitis, and Karpasha, who visit hospitals in government-controlled areas via bus. These individuals often experience significant delays and inconvenience on their return to the occupied areas.

Anna Aristotelous emphasized the importance of adopting a people-centric approach, stating that this solution aims to ease the lives of those who have chosen to remain in occupied villages despite numerous challenges. The initiative particularly seeks to support elderly enclaved individuals facing medical issues and acknowledges their long-standing efforts to sustain occupied villages. Additionally, the initiative aims to facilitate the lives of children residing in occupied areas.

Residents of Kormakitis had reported daily delays at the Agios Dometios crossing point, affecting the transportation of their children from schools in government-controlled areas back to their occupied village. These delays, often lasting for hours, disrupted the children's schedules, limiting their study time and participation in afternoon activities.

Anna Aristotelous expressed gratitude to Deputy Minister for European Affairs Marilena Raouna, Negotiator Menelaos Menelaou, and the Foreign Ministry for their collaborative efforts in addressing this prolonged humanitarian issue. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, following Turkey's invasion and occupation of its northern third, and despite several UN-led peace talks, a resolution has not been achieved. The most recent negotiations in July 2017 concluded inconclusively in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.

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