Cyprus should reconsider border crossings, opposition leader says

Cyprus should consider the option of shutting down the pedestrian crossings with Turkish-occupied north in response to Ankara’s assertiveness, the island’s opposition has said according to local media.

Speaking during an interview with private Sigma television on Monday, Democratic Party (DIKO) leader Nicolas Papadopoulos was quoted as saying that the government ought to take measures that will inflict “a political cost on Turkey and the breakaway state.”

Asked whether that would include doing away with the border crossings, Papadopoulos reportedly said: “It is one of the measures we should examine.”

The party of Papadopoulos, who is the son of late Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, left the island’s government coalition in February over disagreements concerning the handling of peace negotiations between the two sides.

Earlier this month, Cyprus pulled out of the latest round of United Nations-buffered peace talks in protest at apparent attempts by Turkey to encroach on Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and called on the international community to condemn Ankara’s “provocative behavior.”

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades made the decision after gaining the endorsement of Cypriot political party leaders.

Across the island of Cyprus there are six border crossings allowing movement between the north and the south of the island.

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