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UN, Turkish Cypriots make progress on Cyprus' disputed Pyla road project

Talks between the United Nations Cyprus mission and Turkish Cypriots over a disputed road plan have yielded some progress, but several sticking points remain as Turkish Cypriots have resumed the roadwork.
BIROL BEBEK/AFP via Getty Images

ISTANBUL — Talks between the United Nations and Turkish Cypriots over a disputed Pyla road project have yielded progress, sources involved in the efforts to solve the dispute told Al-Monitor on Tuesday, but several sticking points remain.

Negotiations are aimed at finding a compromise on the road, designed to connect the village of Arsos, in the Turkish Cypriot side, with the multi-ethnic village of Pyla, which is inside the UN-controlled buffer zone separating the Northern Turkish side and Greek-speaking Cyprus to the south. 

Two different sources told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that sticking points include control of the road and the checkpoints that would be established there. A large part of the planned road will be located in the island’s UN-controlled buffer zone.

Turkish Cypriots’ attempt to lay asphalt on a currently unusable road without obtaining authorization from the UN led to a rare scuffle between Turkish Cypriot forces and UN peacekeepers on Aug. 18. Pyla is the only village where Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots live side by side.

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