The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias, and the leader of the Turkish-Cypriot community in the Republic of Cyprus, Ali Talat, met today (21 March) under UN auspices for preliminary exploratory talks on resolving the Cyprus conflict. Following the talks in Nicosia, they announced the opening of the Ledra Street crossing point.
Commenting on this, Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin today:
"The meeting between the new President of the Republic of Cyprus and the leader of the Turkish-Cypriot community is an encouraging sign. It underscores their willingness to attempt once more to bring about reconciliation and to end the division of Cyprus.
I welcome today's decision to open Ledra Street. The new crossing point will foster direct contacts between people on both sides of the Green Line. What is more, the removal of the dividing wall in the heart of Nicosia is a step with immense symbolic significance far beyond Cyprus!
I called for Ledra Street to be opened in numerous talks with the parties during Germany's EU Presidency. I am therefore particularly pleased about the agreement now reached.
I hope this will be followed by further courageous steps which will open the way for comprehensive negotiations on resolving the Cyprus conflict."