U.N. clears Ledra crossing for opening

March 27, 2008 at 4:56 PM

NICOSIA, Cyprus, March 27 (UPI) -- Officials completed an ordnance sweep in preparation for the opening of the Ledra Street crossing point in Nicosia, Cyprus.

U.N. Development Program officials led a six-person mine action team to clear the crossing point between the Greek and Turkish sides of Cyrus. The crossing has been closed after violence erupted on the island in the 1960s followed by decades of disputes. But in a recent meeting, Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat announced an agreement to open the Nicosia crossing point, the United Nations reported.

The ordnance sweep was a precautionary measure taken to clear the crossing and secure buildings in the area of any unexploded ordnance and that could threaten the current stability in the region. Officials say no dangerous items were identified.

A U.N. mission on Cyprus has been working since 1964 to bring Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides together. During the recent meeting hosted by U.N. Secretary-General Special Representative Michael Moller, the two leaders also agreed to start full-fledged negotiations "within three months" on resolving the long-running sovereignty dispute on the island.

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