Rival Cypriot leaders to open new crossing .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} NICOSIA - Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders have agreed to open a new crossing point linking the two communities, a United Nations official announced Friday.

U.N. envoy Taye-Brook Zerihoun said the Limnitis/Yeşilırmak crossing in the island's remote northwest will operate like six other crossing points across the no man's land dividing the Turkish Cypriot north and the Greek Cypriot south that opened in 2003, according to a report by The Associated Press. No exact date for the crossing opening was announced. Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias said it will "take some time yet" until infrastructure work is completed.

The deal also encompasses overland access and electricity supply to Kokkina/Erenköy on the island's northern coast. The crossing opening is corollary to the slow-paced talks, aimed at satisfying a long-standing demand by Greek and Turkish Cypriot residents to shorten travel time to Nicosia, 65 kilometers to the east and to also help boost the region's development.

The U.N.’s announcement came a day after European Commission President Manuel Barroso urged rival Cypriot leaders to open the crossing in order to "send a good signal" and quash growing public doubt over the talks' chances for success.