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13 June, 2024
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Colin Stewart briefs PACE rapporteur on Cyprus Peace efforts

The head of the UNFICYP updated Italian MP Piero Fassino on Varosha and peacebuilding initiatives amidst ongoing tensions

Newsroom / CNA

UN Secretary-General's Special Representative in Cyprus and Head of UNFICYP Colin Stewart provided an update on peacebuilding efforts in Cyprus during a meeting with Italian MP Piero Fassino, the Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), on Tuesday afternoon.

Stewart welcomed Fassino to the UN Protected Area and briefed him on the UN's peacebuilding initiatives on the island, according to a post by the United Nations in Cyprus on Platform «X».

UNFICYP spokesman Aleem Siddique stated that Stewart also discussed the UN's role in Cyprus and the contributions of the peacekeeping force to peace-building efforts across the island. While peacebuilding efforts were a focal point, Siddique noted that the progress of negotiations was not discussed, as that falls under the responsibility of the personal envoy.

The meeting comes amidst ongoing tensions in Cyprus, which has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Varosha, a fenced-off section of the Turkish-occupied town of Famagusta, remains a focal point of contention.

UN Security Council resolutions 550 (1984) and 789 (1992) call for the area to be administered by the UN, prohibiting settlement by anyone other than its inhabitants. Despite these resolutions, recent actions by the Turkish side, including a partial reopening of Varosha in October 2020 and a lifting of military status in July 2021, have raised concerns.

In his latest report, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed concern over developments in Varosha and called for a reversal of actions taken since the partial reopening in 2020. The EU has also voiced similar concerns.

Cyprus  |  Turkey  |  UN

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