Cyprus Lokmaci gate opened after 45 years / VIDEO

Lokmaci gate between Turkish and Greek Cypriot side opened to pedestrian crossings on Thursday after 45 years.

Cyprus Lokmaci gate opened after 45 years / VIDEO

Lokmaci gate (Ledra Street crossing)between Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Greek Cypriot side, which remained closed for 45 years since the start of communal strife in Cyprus in 1963, opened to pedestrian crossings on Thursday .

A ceremony has been held in the middle of Ledra Street to mark the opening.

Lokmaci gate, qualified as the "symbol of partition" as it separates Cyprus into two, has always been under scrutiny since April 23rd, 2003 when crossings started between TRNC and Greek Cypriot side.

TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat; Nami Ozdil, Talat's respresentative in charge of talks with UN and EU, Greek Cypriot Chairmanship Advisor George Yakovu, Lefkosa Mayor Cemal Bulutogullari, Lefkosa Greek Cypriot Mayor Eleni Mavro, UN SG'S Special Assistant Special Envoy Elizabeth Sphere, UN Development Plan Manager Titiana Zennaro, Turkey's Ambassador to Lefkosa Turkekul Kurttekin, several TRNC ministers and MPs, former Greek Cypriot leader George Vasiliu, and citizens attended the ceremony.

Speaking at the ceremony to mark the opening of the gate, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat's Special Representative for EU & UN talks Ozdil Nami said the opening was symbolic, "both parties will overcome the problems as long as they want. Another impediment has been eliminated for the unification of the two sides."

Opening of the Lokmaci gate is qualified as "a positive step", however that it should not be perceived as a solution.

Repair works started at Lokmaci gate after Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias met on March 21st, and agreed to set up working groups and technical committees which would work for comprehensive negotiations.

Tradesmen of the region are pleased over the opening of the gate to crossings.


Last Mod: 04 Nisan 2008, 08:19
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