UPDATES WITH MORE QUOTES FROM TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY
By Betul Yuruk and Faruk Zorlu
UNITED NATIONS (AA) – The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Wednesday called on the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders and related parties to return to negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus issue.
The UNSC also unanimously adopted a resolution that renewed the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for another six months.
UNFICYP, one of the UN's longest-running peacekeeping missions, has been on the island since 1964 and its mandate is extended every six months.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks 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 Turkey, Greece and the U.K.
Turkey expressed regret on the extension of the mandate. “The UN Security Council has voiced prejudgments regarding the result of the ongoing contacts by the UN Official assigned on a temporary basis by the UN Secretary-General and the possible future shape of the settlement process, ” its foreign ministry said.
Also, recalling emphasis of UN Secretary-General on the need for new ideas, without referring to a specific settlement model, the ministry said: “In this most recent resolution, the UN Security Council has adopted a position which goes beyond the UN Secretary-General’s views. ”
“In this respect, this resolution does not make a realistic contribution to the efforts towards the settlement of the Cyprus issue. Furthermore, it is not compatible with the above-mentioned reports of the UN Secretary-General, ” it said.
The Ministry also stressed that: “On the other hand, the fact that the UNFICYP’s mandate has been extended without the consent of the authorities of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, in contrast to the established practice of the UN, is another important deficiency of the resolution. “