Nicosia has welcomed the unanimous decision by the UN Security Council for the renewal of the mandate of UNFICYP for another six months.
The resolution provides for the submission of the Secretary General`s Report on the Mission of Good Offices by January 10, 2021, a press release by the Foreign Ministry in Nicosia also said.
The Ministry notes with satisfaction the fact that the resolution reaffirms all the relevant Security Council resolutions on Cyprus.
“Our position remains that the Security Council should continue to monitor developments closely, exerting its influence on ending Turkish violations and on Turkey`s compliance with international law,” the Ministry notes.
Nicosia also welcomed the resolution’s reaffirmation that the basis for a solution to the Cyprus problem both explicitly and by reference to the important Resolution 1251.
This refers to one State with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international personality on the basis of a bicommunal, bizonal federation, with political equality as defined in the UN resolutions.
It also stresses that the Resolution welcomes the Berlin meeting of November 2019, as well as the intention of the Secretary General to continue the effort to reach an agreement on the terms of reference as a common starting point for substantive talks as soon as possible.
It adds that the Security Council, through the resolution, reiterates its call for minimising the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean thereby sending a message to Turkey.
The resolution, according to the Foreign Ministry, also expresses concern about the increase in military violations along the line, which refers to the responsibility of the Turkish army and recommends respect for the responsibility of UNFICYP within the neutral zone and underlines the importance of maintaining the peacekeeping force as long as the current situation lasts.
In addition, it states that the resolution also calls for the removal of the violations and the restoration of the status quo in Strovilia and reaffirms the very important resolutions 550 and 789 for Varosha, thus emphasizing the need for their full respect and termination of actions by Turkey and of the occupation regime which aim at creating further faits accomplish.
The Ministry also points out the fact that the resolution calls, once again, for enhanced cooperation with the Committee on Missing Persons, in particular through the provision of access to all areas and the immediate response to the request for information on possible burial sites.
Finally, the Ministry states that the Resolution, by recognizing the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the efforts made to address them, calls for enhanced cooperation through the Technical Committees and for a return to the pre-pandemic mode of operation of the crossing points when this is practically possible.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
UN Secretary – General, Antonio Guterres, appointed in the summer of 2018 senior American UN official Jane Holl Lute in order to conduct consultations with all parties of the Conference on Cyprus. Lute visited Cyprus several times and met Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, and Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, with a view to clinch an agreement on the Terms of Reference that would lead to the resumption of the negotiations for a Cyprus settlement. To that end she also held contacts with the three guarantor powers, namely the UK, Greece and Turkey.
After a tripartite meeting, in Berlin, on November 25 2019, among Guterres, Anastasiades and Akinci, the UN Secretary – General issued a statement saying that he agreed to extend his efforts to achieve terms of reference to serve as a consensus starting point for phased, meaningful, and results-oriented negotiations at the earliest feasible opportunity.
Efforts to convene an informal five-party meeting, in a bid to conclude the terms of reference and resume negotiations for a Cyprus settlement, were expected to start after April 2020 and the “elections” in the Turkish Cypriot community. However, the “elections” have been suspended for October 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.