The status of the island’s 180-km long buffer zone is clearly set out in resolutions and decision of the UN, President Nikos Christodoulides said on Monday, commenting on recent violations by the Turkish side in Deneia.

On Friday, the government said it was taking specific actions in relation to the illegal flight of a Turkish aircraft over Deneia on Thursday afternoon, which appeared to be recording in the area.

The foreign ministry was handling the issue with the UN peacekeeping force Unficyp.

The location of the Turkish plane’s fly-by was revealed by the community leader of Deneia, followed by a statement from the foreign ministry.

Head of the Deneia local council Christakis Panayiotou told CNA on Thursday that the Turkish military plane was flying over the buffer zone of the community in circles for about an hour.

The plane circled the village five to six times before finally heading north.

It was the first time such an incident had occurred in the area, he said, adding that residents were alarmed.

Numerous other incidents involving harassment of Deneia farmers by Turkish troops have occurred over the years.

Christodoulides said on Monday that the issue of security was of “primary importance” and that the government was in constant contact with the farmers in the area.

“It is clear in the resolutions of the United Nations and through the repeated decisions what the status of the buffer zone is, why the UN is in Cyprus, why the peacekeeping force is there, who gives his consent… all these issues are governed by UN decisions. And it is precisely within this framework that the ministry of foreign affairs handles these issues,” the president said.

Asked by journalists about the UN’s proposal regarding the cultivation of part of the land in the Deneia buffer zone, Christodoulides said: “The matter is being handled by the ministry of foreign affairs. When we have something concrete to announce we will announce it,” he added.

Meanwhile, following reports, Unficyp on Monday rejected claims that it was allowing Turks to farm in the Deneia buffer zone for payment.

Spokesman Aleem Siddique told CNA the claims were “false and misleading”.

According to Siddique, “Unficyp remains focused on working with both sides to prevent tensions and maintain the status quo along the demilitarised zone.”

“We reject claims in relation to agricultural land… as false and misleading,” he added.

He said the UN peacekeeping force “continues to work closely with both sides to monitor and protect the status of the region”.