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26 May, 2024
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UNFICYP responds to allegations of farmland transfer in UN buffer zone

Spokesperson refutes claims, emphasizes commitment to stability in Cyprus

Newsroom / CNA

The United Nations peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) has firmly denied allegations of Greek Cypriot farmland being transferred to Turks within the UN buffer zone, describing the claims as "false and misleading," according to spokesperson Aleem Siddique.

In response to recent accusations made by a Denia community leader, alleging that UNFICYP was involved in the exchange of Greek Cypriot farmland for financial gain, Siddique emphasized that the mission's primary focus remained on fostering cooperation between both sides and maintaining stability across the buffer zone.

"We categorically reject these allegations concerning Greek Cypriot farmland inside the UN buffer zone in the Denia area," Siddique stated. He further emphasized that UNFICYP continued to work closely with both sides, actively monitoring and safeguarding the status of the area.

Earlier on Monday, following a meeting with the European Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn and Vice-President of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas, President of the Republic Nikos Christodoulides addressed the issue. He highlighted the clear provisions outlined in UN resolutions and decisions regarding the buffer zone in Cyprus.

"The UN resolutions and repeated decisions provide a clear framework for the buffer zone, the presence of the UN in Cyprus, the purpose of the peacekeeping force, and the consent given," President Christodoulides clarified. He added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was handling the matter, promising that the government would provide updates once concrete information became available.

When questioned about the government's guidance to Greek Cypriot farmers in the area, President Christodoulides acknowledged the government's engagement with them, underscoring that ensuring security remained a top priority.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied approximately 37% of its territory.

[Information sourced from CNA]


Cyprus  |  Turkey

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