Turkey slams UN decision on Cyprus peacekeeping force

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The Turkish Foreign Ministry late Tuesday slammed a decision by the UN Security Council (UNSC) that extended the mandate of a peacekeeping force on Cyprus Island. 

The ministry said extending the mandate for six months, unanimously adopting Resolution 2537 (2020) without the consent of Turkish Cypriots is against the rules and principles of the UN.

The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) needs to make a legal arrangement with Turkish Cypriot authorities regarding its presence on the island, it said.

Turkey reiterated that despite legal deficiencies, the UNFICYP continues its activities on the island only through the well-intentioned approach of TRNC and Ankara supports the statement of the Foreign Ministry of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on the issue.

It said it is a thought-provoking situation that while the Security Council is calling for cooperation between the two parties on the island, it also ignores the issue of fair sharing of hydrocarbon resources as one of the areas of cooperation.

The ministry said Turkey has repeatedly stressed issues related to the Eastern Mediterranean can be resolved through cooperation on hydrocarbon resources of the Turkish and Greek Cypriots sides as equal partners of the island.

It added that with the same understanding, it is possible to establish a direct contact mechanism between military authorities indicated in the council decision between TRNC Security Forces Command and its Greek equivalent.

The ministry said as noted in the last UNFICYP report of the UN Secretary-General, the main obstacle to the lack of effective cooperation between the two parties is the concern of the Greek Cypriot side to recognize the Turkish Cypriot side, in other words, to accept it as an equal partner.

It underlined that the mentality of the Greek Cypriot side is the reason why efforts for the solution on the island have been inconclusive for more than 50 years.

It added that biased statements regarding the solution of the Cyprus issue in the decision, unfortunately, encourage the irreconcilable attitude of the Greek side.

In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus’ annexation by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.

The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the Cyprus dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries — Turkey, Greece, and the UK — ended in 2017 in Switzerland.

The UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus was established under the UNSC in 1964 to avert a fight between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

The presence of the force on the island has been questioned by the Turkish side due to its political and biased approach.

*Writing by Fahri Aksut



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