The UN intend to enquire both sides in Cyprus about their ideas concerning the establishment of an effective mechanism for direct military contacts, after a relevant reference in the UNFICYP resolution the Security Council passed on Thursday.
After receiving their ideas, UNFICYP will formulate a proposal that might be acceptable to both sides, a UN source told the Cyprus News Agency, but stressed that “these contacts should not be mistaken for recognition.”
The resolution extending the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force until July 31, 2020, states in paragraph 6 that the Security Council “calls for the establishment of an effective mechanism for direct military contacts between the sides and the relevant involved parties, and urges UNFICYP, as facilitator through its liaison role, to submit proposals in this regard.”
It is now up to the two the Republic and the north to decide at which level they want to engage on this dialogue, the UN source said, though the preference of the UN that a dialogue is initiated on both a military and political level, facilitated by UNFICYP at all times.
So far, there are have been no direct military contacts between the opposing forces in Cyprus and, as the UN source clarified, “there will be no direct contact while these proposals are being discussed.”
The intention of the UN is to talk to the two sides separately, listen to their ideas about these military mechanisms, before presenting its own ideas on how this might work.
Having direct contacts “doesn’t mean that we are not going to be present, it doesn’t mean that we are going to leave"
Having direct contacts “doesn’t mean that we are not going to be present, it doesn’t mean that we are going to leave, it doesn’t mean that anybody is being asked to recognize the other side” the UN source said.
In a statement issued Thursday, following the adoption of the Security Council resolution to extend the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force stationed on the island, the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Cyprus pointed to the consultations that took place before the adoption of the resolution, which it described as tactics aimed at giving the impression that the Cyprus issue is a matter of stabilizing relations between the two communities.
These, the Foreign Ministry said, do not contribute to a solution as foreseen by the relevant UN resolutions but to a normalization of the status quo.