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Cyprus: Turkish provocations in buffer zone must be addressed on basis of UNFICYP mandate

Cyprus Foreign Ministry has pointed out that addressing in a decisive manner, on the basis of UNFICYP mandate, the Turkish provocations and violations along and near the buffer zone on the island, is of great importance for the promotion of stability and security in Cyprus, as well as for the efforts to resume the UN-backed talks for the Cyprus problem.

In a statement issued Thursday, following the adoption by the UN Security Council of Resolution 2506 , extending the mandate of the UN peace keeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for six more months, the Foreign Ministry stressed out that in the light of the consultations that took place before the adoption of the Resolution, tactics aimed at giving the impression that the Cyprus issue is a matter of stabilizing relations between the two communities do not contribute to a solution as foreseen by the relevant UN resolutions.

The MFA points out that these approaches send the message that what is required is the normalization of the status quo. Moreover they could be seen as a disincentive to efforts to resume the dialogue picking up from where it left off, at Crans Montana, the summer of 2017.

The Cyprus Foreign Ministry describes as important the fact that this Resolution reaffirms all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions on Cyprus, as well as the basis for a solution to the Cyprus problem and makes reference to Resolution 1251, which refers to a state with one single sovereignty, citizenship and international personality, based on bi-communal, bi-zonal federation, with political equality, as set out in UN resolutions.

The Ministry also acclaims that the SC welcomes Secretary-General`s meeting with the leaders of the two communities in Berlin on November 25, 2019 and the outcome of this meeting, namely the reaffirmation of the agreed basis for a solution, the Joint Statement of February 11, 2014 and the convergences set in the six-point framework of the UN Secretary-General. The SC also welcomes, as the Ministry points out, the SG`s willingness to continue his efforts to reach agreement on the terms of reference with a view to resume the talks.

In the Resolution, the Foreign Ministry continues, the SC expresses deep concerns on the further escalation of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and its serious concerns about the increasing number of violations of the military status quo. These statements, the Ministry says, send a message for Turkey’s provocative behaviour in the Eastern Mediterranean and its increased violations in the buffer zone on the island.

The Foreign Ministry also notes that the Resolution calls for the restoration of the quo status in Strovilia, reaffirms the status of the fenced off town of Varosha as provided for in the relevant UN resolutions and calls for the safeguarding of freedom of movement of the peacekeeping force, which is important because of hindrances imposed by the Turkish occupying army in both Varosha and Strovilia.

The Resolution, the Ministry adds, provides for the proposal of a report by the Secretary-General on his good services, as well as a Report on the renewal of UNFICYP`s mandate by July 10,  2020.

The Foreign Ministry also welcomes the references of the need for the engagement of women and the youth in the peace process and the promotion of peace and stability.

Cyprus remains divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks for a Cyprus settlement have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

(Cyprus News Agency)

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