Security Council approves 6-month extension for UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus

UNFICYP peacekeepers patrolling in Sector 1 in Cyprus. Photo: UNFICYP

29 January 2015 – The Security Council today extended the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) – one of the longest running UN missions still in operation – until 31 July 2015, noting that despite some progress made in negotiations between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides, a “comprehensive and durable settlement” is still lacking.

In a unanimously adopted resolution, Council members urged both sides to further implement confidence-building measures and move towards the establishment of “mutually-acceptable steps,” including military confidence-building measures and the opening of crossing points that, they added, could potentially “contribute to a conducive environment for a settlement.”

UNFICYP has been deployed on the Mediterranean island since 1964, when inter-communal fighting erupted.

Since then, the UN has also been facilitating talks between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leadership, with a view to the eventual establishment of a federal government with a single international personality, consisting of a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, each of equal status.

In addition, the 15-member Council called on the leaders of both communities to “put their efforts behind further work on reaching convergences on the core issues” and improve the public atmosphere for negotiations.

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