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25 February, 2020
 
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Nicosia ups efforts ahead of UNFICYP vote

Mandate renewal draft resolution calls for UN to allow direct cooperation between sides

Newsroom

Nicosia is intensifying efforts over the final makeup of an UNFICYP draft resolution in New York, as the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus is expected to be renewed ahead of its expiry at the end of the month.

The UN Security Council is expected to renew the UNFICYP mandate on Thursday, according to an official report, ahead of its expiry on January 31.

The renewal is set to take place against a political backdrop with a lack of developments in settlement talks on the divided island as well as energy disputes that have pushed the peace process on the back burner.

According to Kathimerini Cyprus, new elements in the draft resolution include a provision where the two sides, Greek Cypriots in the south and Turkish Cypriots in the north, would continue to cooperate on matters of law enforcement but without UN mediation.

US has been calling on the Council to reexamine mandates of missions where progress on the political track was absent

Members of the UNSC also seem to diverge on certain conditions and a timeframe for reunification talks, with some pointing out that the process cannot be open-ended.

Kathimerini also reported that government sources said discussions were ongoing in New York, at UN headquarters with the five permanent members as well as all the other ten members of the UN Security Council, but declined to comment on specifics.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently said the Cypriot leaders agreed “the current status quo is not sustainable” and that both sides stressed the importance of reaching a solution to the Cyprus issue within a foreseeable timeframe.

But according to Kathimerini, there were several paragraphs in the current draft resolution that have raised concerns for Greek Cypriots, including more intense and direct cooperation between north and south.

Kathimerini also reported that Nicosia was relying on good relations with Paris for a show of support, following a recent meeting in Israel between President Nicos Anastasiades French President Emanuel Macron.

In previous UNFICYP renewals, the United States have been taking the initiative to emphasize the need for peacekeeping missions to support political processes, calling on the Council to reexamine mandates of missions where progress on the political track was absent.

US President Donald Trump, who is currently facing an impeachment trial in Washington, has been criticising UN member states and calling repeatedly on European allies to pull their weight and increase contributions to NATO and the UN.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  UNFICYP  |  New York  |  Nicosia  |  Greek  |  Turkish  |  Cypriot  |  peacekeeping  |  mandate  |  UN

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