EU, Turkey praise brokered deal on Pyla dispute

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The European Union has joined the government and, surprisingly, the Turkish Foreign Ministry in welcoming the UN-brokered agreement on the Pyla road dispute as bringing mutual benefits.

Posting on the X platform, Josep Borell, the EU’s top diplomat, welcomed the understanding reached by the sides to find a way forward on Pyla.

“I wholeheartedly welcome the understanding reached by the sides to find a way forward on the Pyla / Pile Road in Cyprus & stabilise the situation.

“Support to the essential role of the UN & UNFICYP.

“All efforts must continue towards peaceful negotiations &real process of dialogue,” posted Borell.

Government spokesperson Constantinos Letymbiotis said the development: “Address the concerns of the Republic of Cyprus regarding the status of the buffer zone which is safeguarded”.

Letymbiotis affirmed that an understanding was achieved after intense and extensive consultations between the government and the UN Peacekeeping Force.

UNFICYP did not give details of the agreement, but it involves the eventual opening of the road and construction of authorised residential property in the Pyla area and a checkpoint on the road west of the village.

According to Letymbiotis, the deal will “Restore order at the specific buffer zone area. Provide for the urban and residential development desired by the residents for the benefit of all the residents of Pyla, Greek Cypriots, and Turkish Cypriots”.

He said the deal will “create conditions for peaceful coexistence of the residents during a period when the resumption of talks for a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem is being pursued”.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry also welcomed the agreement, stating it “constitutes a new example of the constructive attitude always displayed by the ‘TRNC’ (Turkish Cypriot) side”.

Turkey argued the construction of the Pyla road is a humanitarian project, which has been on the agenda for decades to facilitate safe and quick passage for village residents to and from the north.

On August 18, Turkish Cypriot police and others physically attacked a group of British and Slovak peacekeepers who obstructed crews illegally working on a road that would encroach on the UN-controlled buffer zone.

The Republic feared road construction may allow Turkish military forces to strengthen their position in the Mesaoria plain.

The United Nations Peacekeeping force in Cyprus declared the road would be unauthorised and stated their intention to block its construction.

The international community, including the UN Security Council, condemned the actions of the Turkish Cypriot side.

According to diplomatic sources, a single urban development area will be created based on the agreement to ensure the harmonious coexistence of Greek and Turkish Cypriots in Pyla.

It includes a large area of residential development, the paving of a road leading towards Troulli village, the creation of photovoltaic parks and the expansion of the urban use area of the village.

Diplomatic sources said that the ceasefire line has been clearly delineated with the consensus reached, and UNFICYP will continue its presence in the buffer zone.

Furthermore, uncontrolled access to the Pyla area is prevented by creating a crossing point and the full implementation of the Green Line Regulation.