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18 June, 2024
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Nicosia takes measures as status quo violation escalates in Agios Dometios

Pressure mounts on UN, peacekeeping force amid crisis

Yiannis Ioannou

Yiannis Ioannou

What began last Monday, inside the buffer zone in Agios Dometios with the installation of a camera in an abandoned house, continued on Wednesday with the presence of Turkish military forces.

This intensified the pattern of challenging the status quo in the demilitarized zone by Turkish Cypriots and Ankara.

At the same time, a letter was sent to UN officials calling for the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) to ensure the lifting of the violation at "Mary's House" in the buffer zone of Agios Dometios.

This also included the restoration of the status quo in the area. Instructions were received by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cyprus to the UN, Andreas Hadjichrysanthou.

The Government Spokesman, Constantinos Letibiotis, also referred today to the activation of measures taken by Nicosia. Essentially, these measures aim to ensure the removal of the status quo violation.

Screenshot by BRT ARŞİV's video

Nicosia reacts

"We are waiting and we are in constant communication with the peacekeeping force; that is the goal, to ensure the status of the buffer zone," he said.

He added that, since the first moment the events at the "House of Mary" took place, there has been an assessment and planning, which is currently being carried out.

Asked whether the UN peacekeeping force (UNFICYP) is part of this planning or whether it has simply been notified of the measures, the Spokesperson said that the peacekeeping force, as part of the Government's cooperation with UNFICYP, has been informed before they were put in place "that if the status of the buffer zone is not restored within a certain timeframe, these measures would be activated."

To another question, he said that "the information we have from the peacekeeping force is that the situation remains unchanged" and that the peacekeeping force is present in the area, and the Government is in constant communication with it.

In essence, Nicosia is moving in the direction of the UN on two axes:

Diplomatic, to put pressure on the UN, the peacekeeping force, and the permanent members of the UNSC.
At one level, measures on which Nicosia is maintaining "radio silence" are not specified but are obviously working towards exerting pressure

Pattern of violations

The return after Pyla in Agios Dometios of a pattern of direct challenges to the status quo by Tatar and Ankara seems to be based on three axes:

  • Both the issue of the Arsus- Pyla road and the installation of cameras in Agios Dometios are taking place at points of tactical, on-the-ground importance for the Turkish occupation forces.
  • They act in direct challenge to the status of the buffer zone, the status quo on the Cyprus problem, and the terms of reference of the UN peacekeeping mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP).
  • They concern, holistically, both the questioning of the "existential" for the RS of Security Council Resolution 186 of 1964 and the instrumentalization of the Territorial chapter since the buffer zone constitutes 3.5% of the territory of Cyprus and is returning under Greek Cypriot administration.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  Nicosia  |  bufferzone  |  AgiosDometios  |  Turkish

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