UN stops Cyprus road threat

Following strong complaints from Nicosia, the United Nations peacekeeping force on Cyprus has intervened to stop the Turkish Cypriots from building a crucial military road that would infringe on the 1974 buffer zone and bring Turkish forces within striking distance of key Cypriot targets, Cyprus’s defense minister said on Saturday. According to Socrates Hasikos, occupation forces in northern Cyprus had begun building a road from the village of Arsos to the village of Pyla – where Greek and Turkish Cypriots live together – that would allow Turkish forces to circumvent the British bases by entering the buffer zone. The road would bring Turkish artillery within range of the Larnaca airport, oil refineries and harbor. Hasikos said construction was supposed to be halted for 10 days. «But with the occupation forces nothing is certain,» he added. Earlier this month, Hasikos said Turkey has boosted its occupation force by over 5,000 troops. Today, Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will hold another of their so far fruitless meetings on reunification.