UN extends its peace keeping mandate in Cyprus

The Security Council has extended the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) until 31 July 2015. Noting that progress made thus far had not yet resulted in a comprehensive and durable settlement between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides, ‘Kibris Postasi’ reports.

It goes on to say that the Turkish Cypriot Foreign Ministry criticised the UN Security Council’s decision with a written statement issued today.

In their decision the council urged both Greek and Turkish Cypriots to continue their discussions “to reach decisive progress.”

According to Turkish Cypriot Foreign Ministry, the decision lacks an important element as there is no mention of lifting the isolation of the North. The press release also says that Turkish Cypriot consent was not sought during the decision making process.

The UN text goes on to say: Unanimously adopting resolution 2168 (2014), the 15-member body urged the two sides to implement confidence-building measures, noting it looked forward to agreement on and implementation of further steps, including military confidence-building measures and the opening of other crossing points that could contribute to a settlement.

Further by the text, the Council called on both sides to continue to engage, as a matter of urgency and while respecting the UNFICYP mandate, in consultations with the mission on the demarcation of the buffer zone between them, and on the 1989 United Nations aide memoire, with a view to reaching an agreement on outstanding issues.  The Council also called on the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkish forces to restore the military status quo existing in Strovilia [Village of Akyar bordering Dheklia British Sovereign base] before 30 June 2000.

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