Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and has always been a crossroads between the Middle East and Europe.
Cyprus today is one of the last divided countries in the world. The buffer zone which divides the island stretches 180 kilometres across the island, from West to East, separating the Turkish Cypriot community in the north, from the Greek Cypriot community in the south. The buffer zone also divides the capital city of Nicosia.
In 2004 Cyprus became a member of the European Union, with the acquis communautaire (the common body of law regulating trade and movement within the EU) being suspended in the northern part of the island.
The introduction by the EU of the “Green Line Regulations” provided a stable legal framework for the free movement of people, goods and services across the island.
The buffer zone is controlled by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) which was established in 1964 to prevent further intercommunal fighting.
For more information on UNFICYP's work in Cyprus please visit www.unficyp.org