NEW YORK (AA) – The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday extended the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in the island of Cyprus by six months.
Approving the extension by a unanimous vote, the Council said in a statement it welcomed “the progress of the negotiations between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders to reach a comprehensive settlement.”
The UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), established in 1964, is one of the longest running peacekeeping missions assigned and operated by the global body.
The eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup on the island was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.
There has been an on-and-off peace process over the last years, while Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognized internationally only by Ankara, continued to build stronger economic ties.
The Greek Cypriot administration, which is not recognized by Turkey, is an EU member and has put obstacles on Ankara’s path towards EU accession.