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25 May, 2024
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UN aid to Greek Cypriots in north resumes after a seven-month gap

Three trucks of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus loaded with humanitarian aid crossed without any problems


The dispatch of humanitarian aid to the enclaved living in the Turkish-held north resumed on Thursday, following a decision by the Turkish Cypriot authorities to revoke an earlier decision it had taken in October last year to impose a levy.

Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou said three trucks of the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP), loaded humanitarian aid from government stores and crossed to the north at the Ledra Palace checkpoint without any problems.

He said the same procedure will be repeated on Friday for the Maronite villages.

Turkish Cypriots decided to impose as of 1 October 2017 a tax on humanitarian aid sent to the enclaved -- Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the northern Turkish occupied part of the island.

The Cyprus government made clear that it would not, under any circumstances, pay such a levy and last month the decision was revoked.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

At the end of the second phase of the Turkish invasion late in August 1974, about 20,000 Greek and Maronite Cypriots in the Karpas Peninsula and Kyrenia remained behind the ceasefire line.

Today, only a total of 437 (April 2013) persons remain behind the “green line,” of whom 328 are Greek Cypriot and 109 Maronite Cypriots. These persons are known as the “enclaved.”

Since 1974, the enclaved have endured conditions of hardship and oppression because of their ethnicity, language and religion.

UN  |  Cyprus  |  aid  |  levy

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