All members of the UN Security Council have asked Britain for a clear reference to the basis for a solution to the Cyprus issue, during discussions on Tuesday on the second draft of the resolution renewing UNFICYP’s mandate.
The draft was delivered on Friday but it included references which Turkey had asked and altered the resolution’s provisions.
The point of contention was the fourth paragraph of the preamble, at the end of which Britain added a reference to the “parametres of a bizonal, bicommunal federation as defined by the relevant resolutions” including the fourth paragraph of resolution 716/1991, which notes that these parametres are wide enough to cover a series of practical and legal adjustments.
The US, China, India and Ireland supported the position for a clear reference. Britain, however, in the last months, even at the informal meeting in Geneva, last April, has been asking for a wider interpretation of the resolutions which it considers obstacles.
It also unsuccessfully tried to persuade Security Council members, lately, that a new wording would help in convening a new informal meeting in autumn at which Turkey would have a more constructive stance. Relevant views on the resolutions were also outlined by members of the Secretariat, according to diplomatic sources.
The remaining countries asked for the paragraph to remain in the resolution unaltered. Britain said it would send a new draft by morning which will be put before members in a silence procedure and then take its final form to be adopted in 24 hours, the latest by Thursday.
The resolution that will be adopted on Thursday renews UNFICYP’s mandate for a further year and calls on the UNSG every six months to submit a report on his good offices mission.
Turkey invaded Cyprus on July 20, 1974. Numerous UN backed talks to reunite the island have failed to yield results.
UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984) considers any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN. UN Security Council resolution 789 (1992) also urges that with a view to the implementation of resolution 550 (1984), the area at present under the control of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus be extended to include Varosha.
Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, announced in July a partial lifting of the military status in Varosha.
On October 8, 2020, the Turkish side opened part of the fenced area of Varosha, following an announcement made in Ankara on October 6. Both the UN Secretary-General and the EU expressed concern, while the UN Security Council called for the reversal of this course of action.