NICOSIA – The leaders of Greek and Turkish Cyprus agreed on Friday to open two new crossing points on the divided island in what was the first meeting between the two states in six months.
In United Nations-moderated talks between Greek Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci, the Turkish Cypriot president, both leaders agreed to open two new crossing points, adding to the existing seven.
“The leaders are pleased to announce that on Nov. 12, 2018, crossing points at Lefka/Aplici (in the north of the island) and Deryneia/Derinya (in the south of the island) will be open,” the two presidents said in a joint statement published on the UN’s Cyprus Twitter page.
Anastasiades told the press that the meeting had been a creative one and that there was a definite will on both sides to achieve peace in the region.
The Greek leader added that he had put forward a proposal to remodel the political organizational structure of the island to adopt a de-centralized federation which would, according to Anastasiades, be more practical.
The UN has named a new special envoy for the Cyprus dispute, Jane Holl Lute, who is due to visit the island on Oct. 31.
Cyprus was divided in 1974 when the Turkish army occupied the north and in 1983 declared it the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
The Greek Cypriot state is an EU member, while the Turkish Cypriot state is recognized only by Ankara.
The island is divided by what is known as the “Green Line,” a buffer zone controlled by UN troops since 1974.
Over the last decades, many failed attempts to reunify the island have been made.