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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-06-14

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The UN Security Council is expected to approve Friday a resolution renewing for a further six-month period the mandate of the UN Peace-Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

    After consultations the big 5 of the 15-member international body have agreed to draft resolution, expected to be approved unanimously, UN sources told CNA.

    The draft resolution reaffirms that the status quo in Cyprus is unacceptable and that the time is not on the side of a settlement and that negotiations on a final political solution of the Cyprus problem have been at an impasse for too long.

    The Council expresses full support of the 8 July process, notes with concern the lack of progress and calls upon all parties involved to immediately engage constructively with the UNs efforts to demonstrate measurable progress in order to allow fully-fledged negotiations to begin, and cease mutual recriminations.

    The draft resolution welcomes the principles and decisions enshrined in the 8 July agreement, stressing that a comprehensive settlement based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation and political equality, is both desirable and possible and should not be further delayed.

    The Security Council agrees with the Secretary General that the responsibility of finding a solution lies first and foremost with the Cypriots themselves and notes that the primary role of the United Nations in assisting the parties to bring the Cyprus conflict and division of the island to a comprehensive and durable settlement.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, ignoring repeated UN resolutions calling for their immediate withdrawal from this east Mediterranean island, an EU member state since 2004.

    Here follows the full text of the draft resolution on UNFICYP:

    The Security Council,

    PP1. Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 4 June 2007 (S/2007/328) on the United Nations operation in Cyprus,

    PP2. Noting that the Government of Cyprus is agreed that in view of the prevailing conditions in the island it is necessary to keep UNFICYP beyond 15 June 2007,

    PP3. Echoing the Secretary Generals firm belief that the responsibility of finding a solution lies first and foremost with the Cypriots themselves and noting the primary role of the United Nations in assisting the parties to bring the Cyprus conflict and division of the island to a comprehensive and durable settlement,

    PP4. Taking note of the assessment of the Secretary-General that the security situation on the island and along the Green Line remains generally stable, but noting with concern the increase in the overall number of violations of the buffer zone, and urging both sides to avoid any action which could lead to an increase in tension,

    PP5. Underlining that activity in the buffer zone should not be at the expense of stability and security, and noting the Secretary-Generals firm belief that the situation in the buffer zone would be improved if both sides accepted the 1989 aide-memoire used by the United Nations,

    PP6. Welcoming the principles and decisions enshrined in the 8 July agreement, stressing that a comprehensive settlement based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation and political equality, as set out in the relevant Security Council resolutions, is both desirable and possible and should not be further delayed,

    PP7. Noting, with regret, the failure to date to implement the 8 July agreement, and urging the leaders of both communities to act to start the process without delay in order to prepare the ground for fully-fledged negotiations leading to a comprehensive and durable settlement,

    PP8. Regretting that demining activity in the buffer zone has stalled, welcoming the provision by the European Union of funds to support these activities, and urging the Turkish Forces and the Turkish Cypriot side to allow the resumption of demining activities,

    PP9. Reiterating its call to the parties to assess and address the humanitarian issue of all missing persons with due urgency and seriousness, and welcoming in this regard the progress and continuation of the important activities of the Committee on Missing Persons; expressing the hope that this process will promote reconciliation between the communities,

    PP10. Welcoming the continuing crossings of the Green Line by Cypriots and encouraging further progress on other confidence-building measures, such as the opening of additional crossing points including, but not limited to, at Ledra Street, taking into account the arrangements already in place at existing crossing points,

    PP11. Welcoming all efforts to promote bicommunal contacts and events, including, inter alia, on the part of all United Nations bodies on the island urging the two sides to promote the active engagement of civil society and the encouragement of co-operation between economic and commercial bodies and to remove all obstacles to such contacts,

    PP12. Expressing concern, in this respect, that opportunities for constructive public debate about the future of the island, within and between the communities, are becoming fewer, and that this atmosphere is hampering, in particular, efforts to foster bicommunal activities intended to benefit all Cypriots, and to promote reconciliation and build trust in order to facilitate a comprehensive settlement,

    PP13. Reaffirming the importance of the Secretary-General continuing to keep the operations of UNFICYP under close review while continuing to take into account developments on the ground and the views of the parties, and reverting to the Council with recommendations as appropriate for further adjustments to UNFICYPs mandate, force levels and concept of operation as soon as warranted,

    PP14. Noting the unacceptable accommodation conditions endured by many UNFICYP troops, and welcoming the recent commitment by the Republic of Cyprus to address this issue without delay,

    PP15. Echoing the Secretary-Generals gratitude to the Government of Cyprus and the Government of Greece for their voluntary contributions to the funding of UNFICYP, and his request for further voluntary contributions from other countries and organizations,

    PP16. Welcoming and encouraging efforts by the United Nations to sensitize peacekeeping personnel in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases in all its peacekeeping operations,

    1. Welcomes the observations in the Secretary-Generals report;

    2. Expresses full support for the 8 July process, notes with concern the lack of progress, and calls upon all parties to immediately engage constructively with the UNs efforts, as described in Under-Secretary-General Gambaris letter of 15 November 2006, to demonstrate measurable progress in order to allow fully-fledged negotiations to begin, and to cease mutual recriminations;

    3. Reaffirms all its relevant resolutions on Cyprus, in particular resolution 1251 (1999) of 29 June 1999 and subsequent resolutions;

    4. Reaffirms that the status quo is unacceptable, that time is not on the side of a settlement, and that negotiations on a final political solution to the Cyprus problem have been at an impasse for too long;

    5. Expresses its full support for UNFICYP and decides to extend its mandate for a further period ending 15 December 2007;

    6. Calls on both sides to engage, as a matter of urgency and while respecting UNFICYPs mandate, in consultations with UNFICYP on the demarcation of the buffer zone, in particular in relation to the Ledra Street crossing point, with a view to reaching agreement on the United Nations 1989 aide-memoire,

    7. Calls on the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkish forces to restore in Strovilia the military status quo which existed there prior to 30 June 2000;

    8. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report on implementation of this resolution by 1 December 2007;

    9. Welcomes the efforts being undertaken by UNFICYP to implement the Secretary-Generals zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to ensure full compliance of its personnel with the United Nations code of conduct, requests the Secretary-General to continue to take all necessary action in this regard and to keep the Security Council informed, and urges troop-contributing countries to take appropriate preventive action including the conduct of predeployment awareness training, and to take disciplinary action and other action to ensure full accountability in cases of such conduct involving their personnel;

    10. Decides to remain seized of the matter.


    President of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos has said that the Turkish side is not genuinely engaged in implementing the July 8 agreement, which aims at preparing the ground for substantive talks for a Cyprus settlement.

    In an interview with the Athens News Agency and the Macedonian News Agency, President Papadopoulos expressed the view that the Turkish side seeks to bring the Annan plan back on the negotiating table with only some decorative changes on the plan, which the overwhelming majority of Greek Cypriots rejected during a referendum in 2004.

    On 24 April 2004, the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities were called to approve or reject in two separate referenda the UN envisaged Annan plan for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. The overwhelming majority of the Greek Cypriot community rejected the plan while the majority of the Turkish Cypriot community approved it.

    On 8 July 2006, President Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agreed, during a meeting in Nicosia in the presence of UN official Ibrahim Gambari, to begin a process of bicommunal discussions on issues that affect the day-to-day life of the people and concurrently those that concern substantive issues, both contributing to a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, the Cypriot President said that the current impasse is due to the stance of the Turkish side, which refuses to engage into substantive talks.

    He expressed the view that the 8 July agreement is the only way forward and said that substantive talks should begin as soon as possible after good preparation.

    A good preparation of the talks, based on the main aspects of the Cyprus issue, is needed in order to achieve a comprehensive settlement. Our policy is to implement the 8 July agreement, which, in my view, is right now the only available way to move forward,`` he said.

    Asked which the prospects to achieve a Cyprus solution are, the Cypriot President pointed out that unless substantive talks begin, no assessment can be made.

    He added that the Turkish side wants to return to the position that the Annan plan must be the basis for a Cyprus solution with some minor, decorative changes. This position has been repeatedly stated by the Turkish side. The Turkish Cypriot leader has expressed this view in his recent letter to UN Secretary General, he added.

    So far, he said, the representatives of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot leaders, have held around 40 meetings but no progress has been achieved.

    He added that although in March common ground was reached that could lead to the beginning of the work by the technical committees, as provided in the July 8 agreement, the Turkish side changed its views and is now seeking to abandon the July 8 process.

    The Cypriot President expressed the view that the Turkish side intends to upgrade the pseudo state in Turkish occupied Cyprus, through the so called EU direct trade regulation, for trade between the Turkish Cypriots and the EU countries.

    He noted that the Turkish side has given a wrong interpretation to the EU regulation, which as he said, must aim at promoting the financial integration and reunification of the island.

    It becomes more and more obvious to many countries now that the Turkish side, through this regulation, aims at gaining political and not economic benefits, he stressed.

    Regarding Turkeys EU course, the Cypriot President reiterated the governments position that it supports Turkeys accession to the EU, provided that Ankara fulfills all its EU obligations, including those concerning the Republic of Cyprus.

    He also said that he will meet with the new UN Secretary General in September during the UN General Assembly session.

    Invited to comment on information that Washington is considering to put on the negotiating table a new plan for the solution of the Cyprus problem, the President said he had no information on the issue, adding that the international community is not referring to the Annan plan anymore.

    The Annan plan is considered to be a plan of the past, it belongs to history. There is no indication that the US might want the Annan plan to be brought back on the table, with or without changes, or to submit a new plan,`` he said.

    Regarding the presidential elections of February 2008, the President noted that he will take his decisions as to whether he will run again for the Presidency in due time and after taking into consideration the positions of all political parties, which support the government.

    The Republic of Cyprus entered the EU in May 2004. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.


    After three decades of efforts, it remains of crucial importance to find a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem, Britains Minister for Europe Geoff Hoon has said, stressing that the communities on the island, and indeed the stability of the region, continue to suffer from division.

    The UK, as a close EU partner, a concerned permanent member of the Security Council and a long term friend will do what it can to assist, the British official pledged.

    But our voice will never be as compelling as that of the Cypriot communities themselves because ultimately it is these communities who must choose between a united island or continued division, he told yesterday the Keith Kyle Inaugural Memorial Lecture at London School of Economics.

    Speaking on British Cypriot relations, Hoon said Keith Kyle was a highly accomplished man in many fields "but we remember him best as a journalist and as a historian."

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