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Turkey Slams Renewed Mandate of UN Peacekeeping Mission in Cyprus

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The UN peacekeepers will remain in Cyprus for at least another year. Public Domain

Turkey condemned the decision by the UN Security Council on Monday to renew the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in Cyprus for another year.

“In view of the prevailing conditions on the island, it is necessary to keep the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) beyond 31 January 2023,” to 31 January 2024, the resolution read.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry released a statement slamming the move, saying “the Council, detached from the realities on the ground and disregarding the will of the TRNC [the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] towards a two-state settlement, insists on settlement models that have been tried and have failed many times.”

“This situation is incompatible with common sense and goodwill, and shows that, instead of promoting a real settlement on the Island, the Council is unable to free itself from Greek Cypriot influence.”

Cyprus welcomes the renewal of the mandate of the UN force

The internationally recognized government of Cyprus welcomed the decision.

The foreign ministry said that the UN resolution reaffirms the agreed basis for a solution to the Cyprus problem, a bizonal bicommunal federation with political equality,

The announcement added that the references to the issue of the Famagusta fenced-off area are extremely important. The Security Council called on Turkey to withdraw its illegal actions and expressed disappointment at Ankara’s failure to comply with previous calls.

Furthermore, the ministry said, the Security Council warned that any new unilateral action within the fenced-off area of Varosha will trigger its reaction.

The resolution also reiterated the Security Council’s strong support for the UN secretary-general’s efforts to resume negotiations and includes references to the need to reach an agreement on the appointment of a United Nations special envoy with a mandate to assist the effort to resume negotiations.

The mandate was extended for 12 instead of six months under the new procedure coted by the security council.

A source told the Cyprus News Agency, the idea had come from Britain, which is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council. The source said the issue had been in discussion for a long time.

He added that the Cyprus government had given its consent on the understanding that the UN secretary-general’s reports on Cyprus would still come out normally every six months so that the Cyprus issue can be discussed on an ongoing basis.

The other condition is that if there is a serious violation by the Turkish side during the 12-month mandate, the Cyprus government can appeal to the Security Council for a special resolution or a special declaration, as was done in the case of the fenced-off area of Varosha when the Turkish side opened it to development.

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