The State Department says that it is vital that the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) is able to to fulfill its mission throughout the island, as authorized by the UN Security Council, while reiterating the US position in favor a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal settlement to the Cyprus problem.
Responding to a question from the Athens News Agency (ANA-MPA) concerning the demand of the Turkish Cypriot side, as reported in the press, that the UN sign a separate status of forces agreement (SOFA) with the illegal entity operating in the Turkish-occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, a State Department representative said that “the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus plays a critical stabilizing role and it is vital that it is able to to fulfill its mission throughout the island, as authorized by the UN Security Council, to cooperate with the parties to the conflict in Cyprus and to create political space towards the resolution” of the Cyprus issue.
The representative also reiterated that the US “supports a comprehensive settlement under the leadership of the United Nations for the reunification of the island on the basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality, which would benefit all Cypriots as well as the wider region.”
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 July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), comprising military and civilian personnel from various contributing countries, arrived in Cyprus in March 1964 after intercommunal fighting broke out. The mandate of the force is renewed every six months by the Security Council.
Source: Cyprus News Agency