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Ministry of Foreign Affairs : UN Cyprus peacekeeping extension

TRNC MINISTRY’S STATEMENT

The UN Security Council resolution 2561 (2021) regarding the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force (BMBG) stationed in Cyprus for six months was adopted on 29th January 2021.

As we have emphasised in the past, the fact that the consent of the Turkish Cypriot side of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force’s presence on the island has not been obtained is an important deficiency and ignores the basic principles of the United Nations regarding peacekeeping operations. We expect the UN to extend the term of the UN Peacekeeping Force after obtaining the consent of our State. In addition, we would like to remind you that the BMBG can continue its activities in the TRNC territory thanks to the goodwill and constructive attitude of our authorities. We will continue to insist on our justified request for a legal arrangement between our authorities and the UN in order to ensure that BMBG’s activities in our territory can be carried out on the right ground. In the event that our justified request is not met, it is beneficial to know that we reserve the right to review our goodwill attitude regarding the activities of the BMBG in our country.

In his Goodwill Mission Report dated January 8, 2021, the United Nations Secretary General states that he foresees an informal meeting in 5+UN format aiming to determine whether there is a common vision between the two parties and does not refer to any solution proposals. The Turkish Cypriot side supports a meeting to be held in this format and for this purpose at an appropriate time. The Turkish Cypriot side is ready to negotiate an agreement model on the basis of two States based on sovereign equality and believes that only negotiations on the basis of sovereign equality will yield results.

Nevertheless, it is unacceptable for the UN Security Council to ignore the views of the United Nations Secretary General and refer to the so-called solution proposal, which has been proven unsuccessful. Insisting on a model that has been negotiated between the two sides in the negotiation processes for more than 50 years and has not achieved any results up to today means to serve the continuation of the status quo in the Island. The past negotiation processes that caused the Greek Cypriots to act under the guise of the “Republic of Cyprus” and the Turkish Cypriot people to live under unjust isolation are now over. It should be known that the Turkish Cypriot people no longer have time to waste.

It is also unacceptable for the Security Council to attribute the increasing tension in the island and our region to the absence of an agreement on Cyprus. It is clear that the reason for the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean is the provocative activities of the Greek Cypriot side, far from sharing and cooperation on hydrocarbon resources. The elimination of the negative escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean region is due to the cooperation of the Greek Cypriot side with the Turkish Cypriot side, which is the equal owner of natural gas resources in the region. If it really thinks that the tension needs to end, it is imperative that the United Nations Security Council calls on the two sides on the island for cooperation, diplomacy and dialogue that will create mutual dependency and eliminate the deep crisis of trust.

Similarly, the reason for the escalation of the tension on the island is also the Greek side’s actions which are far from showing good will. The fact that the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus, taking advantage of the pandemic conditions, placed 223 concrete positions along the border, as in the previous decision, it was not mentioned in this decision and shows that the UNSC chose to hide the hostile steps of the Greek side, which is increasing and reaching a dangerous dimension in the buffer zone.

The decisions of the Turkish Cypriot side regarding the closed Varosha, which is a part of the TRNC territory, were taken within the framework of international law. We think that the opening we are making regarding Maraş, which has become the symbol of the status quo in the island, should be seen as a positive development.

It is contradictory that the United Nations Security Council, on the one hand, calls for increasing the trust between the two sides, and on the other hand, the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus has not included the obstacles imposed on the way to and from the TRNC in order to hit the Turkish Cypriot economy. The silence of the UNSC to such steps of the GCASC serves to advance similar political policies of the Greek leadership. It is time for the Security Council to call for the necessary steps to be taken to lift the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people in the fields of economy, arts, sports, education, culture and so on.

The Turkish Cypriot side thinks that it is possible to establish a direct contact and effective cooperation mechanism between the TRNC and the Greek Cypriot authorities as equal partners of the island in both energy, military and other fields. This opinion of the Turkish Cypriot side is in line with the calls in the reports of the UN Secretary General. The only obstacle to the aforementioned cooperation is the behaviour of the Greek Cypriot side, far from seeing the Turkish Cypriot side as an equal partner, and the UN’s policy to encourage this.

The claims of the UN Peacekeeping Force on the island that the freedom of movement is restricted in Maraş and Akyar regions does not reflect the facts. The UN Security Council continued to be misled about the relevant factors. Our objections on this matter are recorded.

The reports of the UN Secretary General and the opinions and evaluations regarding the Security Council’s decision are shared in the most detailed way with all relevant parties, especially the UN Secretary General and the Security Council, through all our relevant institutions.

Source (Turkish): TRNC Ministry of Foreign Affairs