The government expects that the mandate of the UN peace-keeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) will be renewed later this month by the UN Security Council, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Sunday.
It would be “an absolute paradox” if things regarding UNFICYP changed, while an effort for the resumption of the negotiations for a Cyprus settlement is underway by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, through his envoy Jane Holl Lute, he pointed out.
Prodromou also stressed that President Nicos Anastasiades is focused on the consultations taking place with Lute, firmly promoting the positions of the Greek Cypriot side.
Asked if the government expects that UNFICYP mandate will be renewed for six months at the end of this month, the Spokesman recalled that there is a general review of peace-keeping operations, adding however that in the case of Cyprus it is necessary that UNFICYP remains on the island and continues to play its role as long as there is Turkish occupation and thousands of Turkish troops are still in Cyprus.
He said that this message has been conveyed by President Anastasiades himself during his meetings with his foreign interlocutors, as well as by the diplomatic service of the Republic, noting that foreign officials have an understanding of this position and the government expects that UNFICYP’s mandate will be renewed.
With every respect to the plans and reviews being made “we believe and expect that the presence of the peace-keeping force on the island will continue,” he added.
He underlined that “UNFICYP plays a very significant role as it is due to the peace-keeping force that that the situation is calm and any incidents are prevented.”
Moreover, the spokesman stressed that the aim is to end the Turkish occupation, noting that the positions of the Greek Cypriot side have been submitted with the contribution of Greece, stressing their close cooperation during the Conference on Cyprus that took place in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, in the summer of 2017.
He recalled that the result of this cooperation was the Guterres Framework which for the first time in history has secured that a settlement of the Cyprus problem “should mean the termination of guarantees and Turkey’s involvement, and the withdrawal of the occupation troops.”
Prodromou also noted that the positions of the Greek Cypriot side are clear and President Anastasiades has been promoting them firmly.
The UN Security Council will meet on January 30 to adopt a resolution regarding the renewal of the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for another six months.
(Cyprus News Agency)