Turkish Foreign Ministry dubs resolution ‘as always, disconnected from the reality, unfair and unjust again’
The UN Security Council on Thursday unanimously adopted a resolution that renewed the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for another six months.
“The draft resolution received 15 votes in favor. The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as resolution 2646,” said Council President Ronaldo Costa Filho of Brazil during the UN Security Council meeting, which was broadcast live digitally.
The resolution extends the UNFICYP’s mandate until Jan. 31, 2023.
The text of the draft resolution was submitted by the UK.
UNFICYP, one of the UN’s longest-running peacekeeping missions, has been stationed on the island since 1964, with its mandate being extended every six months.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against Turks on the island, and Ankara’s intervention as a guarantor power.
It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including the collapse of a 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Türkiye, Greece and the UK.
‘Disconnected from the reality, unfair and unjust’
In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry dubbed the resolution “as always, disconnected from the reality, unfair and unjust again.”
“It ignores the Turkish Cypriot people and their inherent rights, and also disregards inhumane and unlawful isolations imposed upon them,” the ministry added.
“It is an inconsistent and contradictory approach for the UN Security Council to try to impose a settlement model, which has been tried for almost 50 years and failed and no longer reflects the will of the Turkish Cypriot people,” it added. “This approach serves the continuation of the status quo, rather than the settlement.”
“References to Maras in the resolution are also disconnected from the facts,” the statement said. “Türkiye will continue to give full support to the steps taken by the TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) authorities, respecting the property rights in Maras.”
Maras, or Varosha in Greek, had virtually become a ghost town as it remained cut off from the world for 47 years. A portion of the region – just about 3.5% of its total area – was reopened in October 2020. Maras was abandoned after a 1984 UN Security Council resolution that said only original inhabitants could resettle in the town.
“We once again call on UN Security Council and international community to focus on the realities on the Island and reaffirm the inherent rights of Turkish Cypriot people, namely, their sovereign equality and equal international status,” it added.
We fully support the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the TRNC concerning the resolution, the ministry said.
Will of Turkish Cypriots ignored
Following the voting at the UNSC, the TRNC said the “will and sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriot people have been ignored and the consent of the Turkish Cypriot side has not been obtained” for the extension of the mandate.”
“Although obtaining the consent of the parties is one of the main principles of peacekeeping operations, obtaining only the consent of the Greek Cypriot Administration (GCA) for the extension of the UNFICYP’s mandate leads to the questioning of for whom and what the UN Peacekeeping Force actually serves,” it said.
“The extension of the UNFICYP’s mandate by the UNSC, only with the agreement of the Greek Cypriot side, regarding its activities on the entire island compels us to take some measures,” it added, describing the UNSC approach to the Cyprus issue “extremely biased.”
The TRNC ministry also accused the UNSC members of refraining “from even emphasizing that the hydrocarbon resources belong to the two peoples of the island.”