2 new border crossings open through Cyprus

A new border crossing in southeastern village of Dherynia and another in northwest Cyprus is breaking down barriers on ethnically divided island, Associated Press reported.

With the two new crossing points the total number to open since travel restrictions across the United Nations-controlled buffer zone were relaxed in 2003 is nine, it said.

Cyprus has been split between a Greek Cypriot government in the south, recognised internationally as having sovereignty over the whole island, and a breakaway Turkish Cypriot administration in the north recognised by Turkey, following a Turkish invasion of the northern third of Cyprus in 1974.

Talks on reunifying Cyprus, split between an internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government in the south and a breakaway Turkish Cypriot administration in the north, broke down in July last year.

The Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot president Mustafa Akinci last month agreed to Monday as the crossings’ official opening in a bid to help build momentum toward restarting stalled reunification talks, AP said.

The UN secretary-general’s envoy on the Cyprus dispute Jane Holl Lute met with the leaders of the divided island of Cyprus earlier this month as part of an effort to restart talks for a solution.