Monday, August 15, 2005

Turkish Army starts clearing mines from Cyprus Buffer Zone

The Turkish military launched an EU-funded program to clear minefields in the UN-patrolled no-man’s land dividing Cyprus at a ceremony sponsored by the UN peacekeeping force in the capital yesterday.

The launch followed nearly two years of painstaking negotiations between the world body, the Turkish Army and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and was hailed by UN and EU officials as an important step in paving the way for freer movement across the so-called Green Line.

The European Union, which is funding the project to the tune of some 4 million euros, welcomed the move and said it hoped it would help reconcile the island’s divided Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot communities.

The de-mining work is to start around Nicosia, the world’s last divided capital, before being extended to other sections of the 180-kilometer (110-mile) ceasefire line.

(Source: Dünya Online)

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