The UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) spokesperson Aleem Siddique has told CNA that the peacekeeping force is aware that there is tension in the area of Strovilia and is liaising with both sides to reduce it.
“We are aware that there are tensions in that area and our peacekeepers are liaising with both sides to reduce those tensions,” Siddique said, invited to comment information published in “Phileleftheros” that the Turkish occupation forces advanced recently in Strovilia area, increasing the extent of the territory which is under occupation, and used barrels, bars and chains for secluding an area where three families of Greek Cypriots are living in three houses.
Siddiwue noted that “there is a situation that we are aware of and we are monitoring and we are liaising with both sides to see why there are tensions and do what we can to reduce those tensions.”
Asked about the informal meeting which Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will have on February 26 and which will be hosted by the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar at her residence, Siddique said that “the format is going to be decided by the leaders. Spehar will be hosting. How the meeting proceeds will be up to the leaders to decide,” he noted.
We are in constant contact with both sides to finalize arrangements ahead of the meeting, Siddique concluded.
In 2000 the Turkish army moved their positions forward and violated the status quo in the village of Strovilia, a UN controlled strip of land situated between Dhekelia British Base and the occupied areas. Despite repeated calls by the UN to pull back to their original positions, nothing changed.
(Cyprus News Agency)