Foreign Ministry welcomes renewal of UNFICYP’s mandate

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus welcomes the unanimous adoption by the Security Council, of a resolution extending the mandate of the peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) until July 31, 2019 with the existing terms of reference and staffing.

We express particular satisfaction over the fact that the resolution reconfirms all relevant Security Council resolutions on Cyprus, as well as the basis for a Cyprus solution, both by making an explicit reference to it as well as with a reference to the important 1251 resolution, which refers to a state with a single sovereignty, citizenship and international personality, on the basis of a bicommunal bizonal federation, with political equality as defined by UN resolutions, an MFA press release says.

It also notes that the resolution requests that the Secretary-General submits a report on his Good Offices by April 15, 2019. It also expresses support to the mission of UN envoy Jane Holl Lute, as well as the expectation that an agreement can be reached soon on the terms of reference which would constitute a consensus starting point for meaningful talks.

These are particularly important references that reinforce the dynamic of the ongoing effort to revitalize the political process in the framework of Lute’s mission, the Ministry announcement adds.

The resolution expresses, inter alia, concern for the increase in the number of military violations along the Green Line, which according to the MFA points to the responsibility of the Turkish army, and calls for respect towards UNFICYP’s mandated authority in the buffer zone something that also underlines the significance of maintaining the peacekeeping force for as long as the present situation continues.

The announcement further notes that the resolution welcomes the opening of two new crossing points, and includes stronger references to the need to promote confidence building measures, particularly in the field of education. In that regard, it underlines the importance of education in addressing prejudice, xenophobia and intolerance, as well as its importance for building trust between the two communities, the MFA says.

References favoring a strengthened presence of women, youth and the civil society in general in the efforts for reunification, strengthening economic cooperation, promoting CBMs in areas such as demining, electricity and mobile telephony are also deemed important, the announcement goes on.

The Foreign Ministry notes finally that it is particularly important that the resolution maintains a reference for the need to restore the status quo in Strovilia, while holding Turkey responsible for this violation.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Source: Cyprus News Agency