We remain committed to the implementation of the provisions of the understanding reached as regards the buffer zone in Pyla area with sincere political will, Government Spokesperson, Konstantinos Letymbiotis stressed in statements to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) as the works on the ground got underway on Monday, as planned. On his part, the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) spokesperson, Aleem Siddique, told CNA that the UN peacekeepers and on the ground and are patrolling the area, adding that “they are monitoring the situation closely.”

A source informed about the situation on the ground told the Agency that construction crews from both sides are in the area working and cooperating with the UN peacekeepers who are there, adding that the status of the buffer zone is being protected and that the implementation of the understanding is going according to plan so far. The source also said that the UN is in contact and is talking to both sides on this issue and the situation on the ground.

The Government Spokesperson told CNA that from the day that the understanding was concluded, authorities in Nicosia began preparations with a view to be able to proceed in order to divide land into plots and to construct an asphalt road leading to Troulloi, adding that that works began on Monday under UN supervision and coordination.

“We remain committed to the implementation of the provisions of the understanding with sincere political will,” he underlined.

Based on the understanding reached, a single urban development area will be created, which will ensure the harmonious coexistence of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in the area of Pyla and, will include, among other things, a large area of residential development, the paving of a road leading towards Troulloi village, the creation of photovoltaic parks and the expansion of the urban use area of the village.

In August 2023, the Turkish Cypriot side unilaterally announced its intention to build the road through the buffer zone between the villages of Pyla and occupied Arsos. Turkish Cypriots and settlers entered the buffer zone and attacked personnel and vehicles of UNFICYP. A peacekeeper was punched in the face.

The international community, including five permanent members of the UN Security Council, condemned the attack. Later on, discussions began aiming at resolving the issue.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

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