Cypriot officials opened two new border crossings on November 12, for the first time in eight years, in what is said to be the latest push for peace in the country after UN-backed talks collapsed last year.

Dozens of Greeks streamed across the eastern Dherynia border post, walking past United Nations peacekeepers into where Turkish flags are raised high.

At the same time, the Lefka crossing opened in the northwest of the eastern Mediterranean island.

Ahead of the Dherynia reopening, soldiers removed barriers wrapped in rusty barbed wire and a small group of riot police stood by.

But despite arguments breaking out among onlookers in the run-up to the midday opening, the crowd passed peacefully across the border.

The latest move was welcomed by Elizabeth Spehar, U.N. special representative and head of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Cyprus.

“Today is a good day for Cyprus,” she said in a statement.

“These crossing points will play an important role in helping to increase people to people contacts, contributing to build much-needed trust and confidence between the communities on the island.”


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