World Bulletin / News Desk
The Turkish Cypriot administration blocked a regular UN aid delivery for the few hundred Greek Cypriots who still live in the breakaway north on Wednesday for the first time in decades, UN officials said.
The move further soured relations between the Turkish Cypriots and the island's internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government, already at a low ebb since the collapse of UN-backed reunification talks in July.
But President Nicos Anastasiades condemned the move, saying it undermined efforts to restore confidence between the two communities.
The UN peacekeeping force said that one its vehicles had leftthe capital Nicosia carrying humanitarian supplies for Greek Cypriot communities in the Karpas peninsula in the northeast of the island, as has been regular practice for close to four decades.
"UNFICYP was obliged to limit today's delivery to medical aid supplies, following the Turkish Cypriot administration's unilateral decision to impose taxes and fees on other humanitarian goods," it said.
"UNFICYP regrets the decision taken by the Turkish Cypriot administration, which it considers to be an unfortunate development."
UNFICYP's role of delivering humanitarian assistance to Greek Cypriot and Maronite communities in the north of the island is based on a longstanding agreement between the two sides, and provides hundreds of elderly and other vulnerable people with basic supplies on a weekly basis.
But the foreign minister of the breakaway administration, Tahsin Ertugruloglu, told AFP in New York last month that imposing duty on the UN convoys was one of a number of measures it intended to introduce in the light of the collapse of reunification efforts.
He said the aid convoys were no longer needed as there was free movement through UN-monitored crossings between the two sides of the island.
"The UN convoys are not going to be allowed to carry these things, because it gives the impression that these people are enclaved in occupied territory," he said.
Anastasiades said his government would protest to the UN and to the European Union, of which the island is a member.
"These measures, which are totally illegal, but also go against agreements that have been reached, are, unfortunately, contaminating the good climate we wanted and we are trying to cultivate," he told reporters.
The so-called enclaved are those people who refused to leave their homes under an agreement to transfer populations trapped behind the frontline following the Turkish invasion of 1974.
Turkish troops invaded the island's northern third in response to an Athens-inspired coup seeking union with Greece.
Al-Hajj was known for his zuhd (ascetism), worship, and mastering of the sciences of Islam
Trump says increasing interest rates is 'taking away our big competitive edge'
Popular protests in Iraq’s southern provinces enter second week after spreading to capital
Trump lawyer alleges payment to newspaper holding model's story was never made
Move is a reaffirmation of longstanding defense ties between the two countries, Pentagon says
Ceasefire was reached under mediation of Egypt and 'international sides', says Hamas spokesperson
Protester was killed in southern city of Najaf, says Iraq’s Health Ministry
Farc members had to deal with widespread popular anger and faced fierce opposition from center-right and right
Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said 31 people had been aboard the amphibious vessel, known as a duck boat for its wheels that allow it to ride on land in addition to floating low on the water.
After weeks of apparently fruitless negotiations, the United States early this month imposed 25 percent tariffs on approximately $34 billion of Chinese mechanical and technological products -- sparking an immediate response from Beijing, which said it would hit back dollar for dollar.
Today marks the 44th anniversary of Turkey’s military operation on the Mediterranean island
Island divided since 1974, when Turkish army interceded under Ankara’s guarantor status to protect Turkish community
18 children among dead, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry
UN chief's Iraq envoy calls on the incoming government to prioritize 'reforms and the fight against corruption'
Greenhouse gases from waste equal to adding 2.1 million cars to roads
Organization of American States condemns Daniel Ortega in resolution