An update to my post yesterday on the opening of a barrier on Ledra Street in Nicosia, Cyprus.
From the Associated Press
The opening of the street, located in a central Nicosia shopping district, was meant to serve as a catalyst for peace negotiations between Greek Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.
But the festive atmosphere quickly soured after the crossing was temporarily closed.
Stefanos Stefanou, a spokesman for the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government, said Turkish Cypriot police illegally patrolled part of the street by entering the U.N.-controlled buffer zone.
“We have been very clear that violations cannot be tolerated,” Stefanou told The Associated Press.
The closure ended after scores of protesters gathered on both sides, chanting “Cyprus belongs to its people,” and U.N. officials mediated between rival police forces.
From the BBC (where you can leave comments after the article).
The mayor of Nicosia, Eleni Mavrou commented
We still have a long way to go. This is the first step. We hope many more will follow
Elizabeth Spehar, the chief of mission for the United Nations in Cyprus said at the ceremony:
We all know opening Ledra Street does not mean the Cyprus problem is resolved. There is much more hard work to be done. But the opening gives us a glimpse of what is possible
And Loukia Skordi Salidou, a resident of Nicosia said
I couldn’t sleep all night. I will walk to St Loukas church (on the Turkish Cypriot side) and light a candle. My generation is dying. Thank God I’m alive to see this