AKEL on the 20th anniversary of the first opening of the checkpoints
The relationships of between the common people can be a catalyst for the solution of the Cyprus problem
22 April 2023, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of the first checkpoint along the ‘Green Line’.
The opening of the checkpoint at Ledra Palace on 23 April 2003 did not mark the long-awaited solution of the Cyprus problem, but it did represent a significant development in the relations between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. It was the historic moment when the nationalist rhetoric about the impossibility of coexistence between the two communities was to a large extent defeated. It was the moment when it was amply demonstrated that the relations between ordinary people can be a catalyst for a federal solution to the Cyprus problem.
Since then, contacts between the two communities have developed on numerous levels. Human relations, political contacts, labour relations, trade, the development of bi-communal projects and the common struggle for a solution and reunification are no longer the same.
The checkpoints are not an end in themselves, but instead a temporary means to further develop people-to-people contacts. Towards this end, AKEL is demanding the opening of new roadblocks such as in the Athienou-Lourujina area, Kokkina and the centre of Nicosia. At the same time, special attention must be paid to issues concerning the facilitation of the passage of people, goods and services through the checkpoints within the context of the prevailing conditions.
For AKEL, the struggle for the opening of new checkpoints is intertwined with the struggle for the complete abolition of checkpoints within the framework of the solution of the Cyprus problem. Checkpoints are only a temporary means in the struggle for a Cyprus whose people will exercise the three basic freedoms (freedom of movement, settlement and acquisition of property) freely throughout the island without restrictions.