The recent opening of new checkpoints between northern and southern Cyprus represented a rare piece of good news in the long, frustrating push for Cyprus reunification. Yet while the status quo can sometimes seem immutable, the incentives to keep trying for a resolution are only growing more powerful.
FAMAGUSTA, Cyprus—On a Monday morning last November, cars began queuing at checkpoints marking the buffer zone between the north and south of this long-divided island. For the first time in eight years, the authorities had agreed to create two new crossings—at the village of Dherynia, in the east, and in Lefke, a town in the west.
The crossings opened at noon. While Al Jazeera noted some “arguments breaking out” among the onlookers in Dherynia, the openings took place without incident. Elizabeth Spehar, the United Nations special representative and head of the peacekeeping force in Cyprus, which was established more than half a century ago, was quick to declare victory. “Today is a good day for Cyprus,” Speharsaid in a statement.