The opening of Dherynia and Lefka crossing points in Famagusta and Nicosia districts is moving ahead, outgoing UN Secretary General`s Special Representative in Cyprus Lisa Buttenheim has said.
She was addressing a reception held at Ledra Palace, on Friday evening, to bid Cyprus farewell.
Lisa Buttenheim takes up the position of Assistant Secretary-General for Field Support at Headquarters.
She will be succeeded by Canadian Elizabeth Spehar.
“The two crossings agreed by the leaders last year, Dherynia and Lefka, are both moving ahead”, she said. Maybe not as quickly as people hoped, she added, “but they are both moving ahead and I can say that because I know.”
Buttenheim said “the opening of crossings makes a huge positive difference to Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.”
It is so important, she said, “to see the leaders remain committed to breaking down the barriers that divide the island.”
Buttenheim also said that “today, Cyprus is closer to a solution than it has been in a long while.”
“To depart when the talks are going well with two leaders who are deeply committed to reunifying this island, renews my conviction that a comprehensive, just and sustainable settlement is possible and truly within reach,” she noted.
The opening of the Lefka and Derynia crossing points was announced by the leaders of the two communities on May 28 2015, as part of a series of Confidence Building Measures.
In the past years, several crossing points have opened to facilitate the movement of people to and from the island`s northern Turkish occupied areas.