The UN secretary-general’s special representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar addressed the issue of the buffer zone along Nicosia’s green line on Wednesday, stating “[i]t never ceases to be a shocking image.”
The comment was made at a bicommunal conference, where attendees stated that every necessary measure for the restoration the of the buffer zone has been completed and it is up to the public to ensure that it actually is re-opened and restored.
Agni Petridou and Ali Guralp, the architects of the Nicosia Master Plan, lead a bicommunal group which is currently working to restore the dilapidated buildings which have remained standing still in time.
“We have done a lot of work to prepare, but we are not able to get into the buffer zone,” Guralp explained. “We are waiting for the green light. Pressure will come from the public to do something about it.”
“We are optimistic,” his Greek Cypriot counterpart Petridou said. “We prepared for years for the Ledra crossing to open, and then suddenly they gave us a week to open it.”
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