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24 May, 2024
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Pyla's road construction issue stirs debate

Water supply talks add complexity to Cyprus diplomacy

Yiannis Ioannou

Yiannis Ioannou

The talk about building a road from Arsos (Larnaca) to Pyla is causing a stir among the occupation authorities, UNFICYP, and local authorities. However, on the ground, it seems that the construction of this road, which would pass through the buffer zone, is currently on hold. This doesn't mean that the "Pyla file" isn't a potential problem for Nicosia, as it could complicate efforts to restart discussions on the Cyprus issue in New York.

At the same time, Turkish Vice President Sevdet Yilmaz's two-day, unauthorized visit to the Occupied Territories is sending a clear message. It shows Turkey's eagerness to emphasize sovereign equality and take a tough stance on the Cyprus problem, particularly in the lead-up to discussions in New York.

News of the potential resumption of construction on the Arsos-Pylas Road emerged in the Turkish Cypriot Press, seemingly originating from the "TRNC" Foreign Ministry. However, UFICYP spokesman Alim Siddique categorically denied this the following day. President Christodoulides also emphasized that ongoing processes in Pyla are still in progress, and there is nothing to announce yet. Their primary concern is to maintain the status of the buffer zone to prevent any advantage for the Turkish occupation forces.

Currently, there has been no activity from the occupying authorities in the region. Nevertheless, the issue remains open and has been used by Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar for two purposes: to act as a catalyst if needed to disrupt efforts to restart discussions on the Cyprus problem and to negotiate in the region to expand influence within the buffer zone or secure political and diplomatic gains.

During the meeting between Yilmaz and Tatar in the Occupied Territories, Turkish Vice President Yilmaz reiterated support for a two-state solution to the Cyprus problem. He emphasized that Turkey fully supports this vision, stating that it's time to explore new solutions instead of rehashing old ones.

Yilmaz also expressed his belief that the "TRNC" will become a more efficient country and open up to the world. He underlined their commitment to pursuing legal means and adapting to the realities of today's world in their quest for recognition.

Additionally, during Yilmaz's visit, discussions about water supply from Turkey to the occupied Cyprus and the protocol of Economic Cooperation were notable topics. These discussions occurred with Ankara's ambassador Metin Feizoglu and Turkish Cypriot leader Tatar at a university, where efforts to gain recognition for the "TRNC" and establish "sovereign equality" as a precondition for talks were discussed.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  diplomacy  |  Turkey  |  Pyla  |  Arsos  |  road  |  construction  |  government

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