The UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) takes reports of violations of the status quo “extremely seriously”, its spokesperson Aleem Siddique has told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), noting that all violations are recorded and reported in the UN Secretary General’s report to the Security Council.
“UNFICYP takes reports of violations of the status quo extremely seriously,” Siddique said when asked to comment on a report in the Sunday edition of daily “Phileleftheros” that Turkish occupation powers have been constructing a military outpost at the buffer zone in Strovilia village.
“We continue to liaise with both sides to address these concerns,” he added.
Siddique further pointed out that “unauthorised construction within the buffer zone or special status areas is strictly prohibited.”
“All violations are recorded and reported in the Secretary General`s report to the United Nations Security Council,” he said.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and respect of the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus.
Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
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)