Security Council welcomes signs of progress towards reunification of Cyprus

17 April 2008 –

Welcoming the recent agreement between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders, the Security Council today voiced hope that the two sides can build enough trust and momentum in their peace process to lead eventually to the reunification of Cyprus.

In a presidential statement, Council members said they are encouraged by the imminent launch of the working groups and technical committees, which are designed to prepare for the ground for full-fledged negotiations under UN auspices on a comprehensive and durable settlement.

“The Security Council looks forward to the results of this preparatory process within the three-month timeline agreed by the two leaders, which it is hoped will build trust, momentum and a sense of common interest in the search for a just and lasting solution,” Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo of South Africa, which holds the rotating Council presidency this month, said in the statement.

He also observed that the recent opening of the Ledra Street crossing in Nicosia was an indication of the political will on both sides to tackle issues that have obstructed progress in the past, and called for more such confidence-building measures to be introduced.

“The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to the reunification of Cyprus based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation and political equality, as set out in the relevant Security Council resolutions, and its willingness to support the efforts of the Secretary-General to this end.”

The UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) has been in place on the Mediterranean island since 1964 following the outbreak of intercommunal violence, and it is tasked with preventing a recurrence of fighting, contributing to a return to normal conditions and the maintenance of law and order.


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