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Cyprus

Nicosia says UNFICYP resolution ‘an improvement’ on SG report

The United Nations Security Council

The Cyprus government says references included in a resolution, adopted on Thursday by the UN Security Council, extending the mandate of the peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNIFCYP) until July 31, 2022, improve those contained in an earlier report by the UN Secretary-General.

“We are satisfied with the wording in the resolution, since it essentially improves the Secretary-General’s report to a significant extent,” Government Spokesman Marios Pelekanos told CNA, while underlining three points in the resolution, which the government deems to be significant.

“First, the resolution reaffirms the basis for a Cyprus settlement. In fact, there is a particular reference to the Security Council resolutions and more precisely to resolution 1251, a resolution containing all the parameters pertaining to a Cyprus settlement” he said.

Another important point for the Government Spokesman is that the resolution underlines the need to appoint an envoy “who could support the two sides in reaching the common ground necessary to resume the process of negotiations.”

He also stressed, as a third point, the fact that there is a strong reference to the need to respect resolutions 550 and 789 concerning Varosha, the fenced off part of Famagusta “which is consistent with the strong presidential statement by the Security Council” issued last summer.

Replying to a question, Pelekanos said finally that Nicosia expects the Secretary General to proceed with appointing an envoy, adding that deliberations are ongoing.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Varosha, the fenced off section of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, is often described as a ‘ghost town’.

UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984) considers any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN. UN Security Council resolution 789 (1992) also urges that with a view to the implementation of resolution 550 (1984), the area at present under the control of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus be extended to include Varosha.

Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, announced in July 2021 a partial lifting of the military status in Varosha. On October 8, 2020, the Turkish side opened part of the fenced area of Varosha, following an announcement made in Ankara on October 6. Both the UN Secretary-General and the EU expressed concern, while the UN Security Council called for the reversal of this course of action. In his latest report to the Security Council, UN Secretary-General Guterres underlines the importance of adhering fully to UN resolutions, underscoring that the position of the United Nations on this matter “remains unchanged.”

On October 8, 2020, the Turkish side opened part of the fenced area of Varosha, following an announcement made in Ankara on October 6. Both the UN Secretary-General and the EU expressed concern, while the UN Security Council called for the reversal of this course of action.

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