The benefits of the Limnitis crossing opening are already visible in the area, President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias said on Saturday.

Addressing a ceremony for the opening of new community premises at the Kato Pyrgos Tillyrias village in Nicosia district, near the Limnitis crossing point, President Christofias said that the region’s development has taken a positive turn after the opening of the crossing.

However, he added, “the region will truly be liberated when a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem will be achieved, bringing”, as he noted, “a wind of freedom and prosperity for both the Tillyria region and Cyprus as a whole”.

President Christofias also said he is still working towards solving certain issues, which are still pending as regards the crossing.

Referring to the government’s development policies in local regions he said the financial crisis and its consequences to the Cypriot economy did not deter initial plans of the Cyprus government to place an emphasis on development, adding that this is the reason that small and large projects are underway everywhere in Cyprus both in larger municipalities and in the most remote communities.

“We are working towards shaping the best possible prospects for the development, progress and prosperity of our country and our people”, President Christofias stressed.

Underlining the development of the region of Tillyria as a whole, he noted that in the last three years the government has co-financed development projects with a total cost of 2.5 million euro. He added that at the same time many jobs have been created for local residents including the full time employment of 24 Kato Pyrgos residents by the Nicosia District Administration.

He further said the total cost of the new community premises amounted to 800,000 euro of which 428,000 euro was contributed by the government.

For 45 years, Greek Cypriot residents in the area of Limnitis, on the northwest, had to travel to Pafos, on the western coast, and Limassol, on the south, in order to reach the capital Nicosia. The opening of the crossing on October 14, 2010 cut this journey down to under an hour.

Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

The leaders of the two communities have been engaged in UN-led direct negotiations since September 2008, with an aim to reunify the island.

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