Turkey and TRNC slam UN for extending Cyprus peacekeeping mandate

Turkey said on Friday that despite all appeals and warnings, the United Nations Security Council has extended the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) without the consent of the Republic Turkish Northern Cyprus (TRNC), contrary to rules and principles.

Turkey supports the TRNC and the Foreign Ministry issued a statement stating that: “We (Turkey) fully support the statement of the TRNC Foreign Ministry regarding the resolution.”

This statement was released after the UN Security Council approved the extension of the peacekeeping mission on the island.

Reiterating that Turkey supported the TRNC’s condemnation of the UN resolution on the extension, the statement said that Ankara will fully support whatever steps the administration chooses to take in this regard.

“Although a legal settlement has been consistently avoided, UNFICYP could still continue its activities on the island within the genuine approach of the TRNC authorities,” the statement read, referring to the peacekeeping force. Peace.

“It’s out of touch with reality and also contradictory on the side of the UN Security Council, on the one hand calling on the parties on the island to find a settlement, and on the other trying to impose a model of settlement that has been proven and exhausted for more than fifty years, has proven ineffective and does not reflect the consent of any party,” the statement added.

Turkey also pointed out that the UN Security Council’s criticism of the TRNC’s measures regarding Varosha (Maraş) is a “violation of property rights”.

“Furthermore, the Council’s disregard for the unilateral steps taken by the Greek Cypriot administration in the Eastern Mediterranean, which are increasing tensions and ignoring the rights of Turkish Cypriots, is again an example of double standards,” he said. note.

In addition, the TRNC prime minister’s office slammed the UN in a statement on Thursday as the Security Council extended the international peacekeeping mission on the island by six months.

In the statement, he said the UN decision was a “violation of the UN’s own principles and rules”, as the international body did not seek the consent of Turkish Cypriots.

“Ignoring the guiding principle of seeking the consent of all parties, which is the fundamental basis of peace operations, by the UN itself, deeply discredits the UN,” he said, adding that this decision called into question the presence of the organization in the country.

On Thursday, the 15-member council unanimously extended the mandate of a peacekeeping force on the island, known as UNFICYP. The force has been present on the island since 1964 and its mandate has been extended every six months.

The resolution noted “with regret” the lack of progress between the two sides of the island “towards the resumption of formal negotiations at this time” and further stressed that “the status quo is not viable, that the situation on the ground is not static and that the absence of an agreement aggravates political tensions and deepens the estrangement between the two communities.”

The resolution adds that the Greek Cypriot administration “has agreed that in view of the prevailing conditions on the island, it is necessary to maintain UNFICYP beyond 31 January 2022”.

The Security Council, noting the UN’s position that a “just settlement” should be based on “a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality”, asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to submit d here on July 5 a report “on progress towards a consensus as the starting point for meaningful results-oriented negotiations leading to a settlement.”

Cyprus is mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to reach a comprehensive settlement.

Ethnic attacks from the early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to retreat to enclaves for their safety.

In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at the annexation of Greece led to Turkish military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded in 1983.

It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed initiative in 2017 in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom.

The Greek Cypriot administration joined the European Union in 2004, the same year Greek Cypriots thwarted a UN plan to end a decades-long conflict.

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Sharon P. Juarez