Turkey regrets UN resolution on Cyprus peace force

ANADOLU AGENCY
ISTANBUL
Published

Turkey on Thursday expressed regret over the recent UN Security Council resolution on the extension of the mandate of its peacekeeping force in Cyprus for a period of six months.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said: "Regrettably, the wordings prejudging the future conduct of the Cyprus settlement process -- which were included in the last two resolutions on UNFICYP, namely Resolution 2369 adopted on 27 July 2017 and Resolution 2398 adopted on 30 January 2018 -- have been retained in the text of this resolution as well."

The statement came hours after the Security Council authorized a six‑month mandate renewal for the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) as of July 26.

The unanimous decision to extend the mission comes amid a U.S. push to downsize the force, which stands at roughly 1,000 UN personnel.

The Security Council established UNFICYP in 1964, and has renewed the mission's mandate for six-month terms since then.

"Turkey sees no meaning in these wordings contained in the most recent resolution of July 26 on the extension of UNFICYP's mandate, which prejudges the result of the contacts by the Secretary-General's consultant and the possible future shape of the settlement process. These wordings also do not contribute to the settlement of the Cyprus issue."

The Foreign Ministry said that any process in the coming period "can only be successful if it is based on the current realities of the island".

The U.S., which wants to either reduce or do away altogether with the peacekeeping mission, is seeking immediate action from the island's leaders to resolve the conflict.

But diplomatic sources tell Anadolu Agency that Britain, France, Russia and China have ruled out an elimination of UNFICYP.

The U.K. and France have expressed concern that the peacekeeping mission provides stability in the island, and said the closure of the mission would worsen tensions.

In addition, the Greek Cypriot administration is concerned about the possibility of the force being reduced or closed down.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), on the other hand, argues that the peacekeeping mission in the island has lost its important function.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

The Greek Cypriot administration is a member of the EU and is internationally recognized by all nations except Turkey, which remains the only country that recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

In 2017, after two years of negotiations, the latest attempt to reunify the long-divided Mediterranean island ended in failure.

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