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Discussions on Unficyp mandate renewal underway

Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides: next two weeks will be decisive

Discussions for the renewal of the Unficyp mandate have started with the UN Security Council’s five permanent members, Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides said on Saturday.

“The next two weeks will be decisive and crucial to the context of the resolution,” he said.

Christodoulides said he did not expect any problems to occur regarding the renewal of the mandate of Unficyp for another six months.

“However, there is no room for complacency, because what matters is what the resolution will include as a whole, taking into account the Turkish approach that the Peacekeeping Force is not necessary in Cyprus and it has no added value, a position expressed by the Turkish side since 1964.”

Christodoulides added that Unficyp’s mandate will be renewed for a period of another six months, saying that “then the state of affairs regarding the United Nations Peacekeeping Force will have to be discussed again, in a crucial period I would say, since we have heard Mr Cavusoglu and Mr Akinci say that talks would not restart before June.”

The government, he said, is not in agreement with this position and believes that talks must begin again as soon as possible.

The minister said he hoped that UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute would return to Cyprus soon, around the end of January or beginning of February.

“Even at this time when no public announcements are made, the process to agree on the terms of reference, that would allow the resumption of the talks, is ongoing.”

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