NEWS

Turks bar Ledra St opening

Cyprus President Dimitris Christofias said yesterday that he would push to reopen a landmark street in the divided capital of Nicosia after Turkish troops prevented United Nations officials from getting started on clearing up the area. Turkish troops stopped a UN initiative to clear explosives and other materials from Ledra Street, which runs through the buffer zone that divides northern and southern Nicosia, citing «technical problems.» Meanwhile, sources said that Turkey’s armed forces chief Yasar Buyukanit is due in the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus today. It was unclear whether the trip had been planned. Christofias and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat last week agreed to open up Ledra Street as a symbolic move ahead of renewed peace talks. The Cyprus president yesterday said he believed «barriers would be overcome.» United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday said he «warmly welcomed» the agreement by Christofias and Talat to «start full-fledged negotiations under UN auspices.»