Cyprus condemns Turkish violations

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In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Cyprus denounced Turkish violations of its national air and maritime space from January-August.

The letter from the UN Permanent Representative of Cyprus, Ambassador Andreas Hadjichrysanthou, was released on Tuesday as an official document of the Security Council.

It should be noted that 73 out of the 560 air violations during the eight months were related to using Turkish military uncrewed aerial vehicles (drones).

“Turkey’s persistently aggressive behaviour on the ground is evidenced by its constant violations of the military status quo on the island and near-daily incursions into the buffer zone, compounded by the continuous upgrading of its military infrastructure,” the letter says.

According to Ambassador Hadjichrysanthou, restrictions on the movement of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus have escalated to open threats to remove a peacekeeping presence from the occupied areas.

“Such open declarations of intentions to violate Security Council resolutions by interfering with the status and deployment of the peacekeeping force in Cyprus should be stymied accordingly.

“The United Nations must make it abundantly clear that it cannot be intimidated into entertaining radical threats, especially when these stem from illegal occupying forces,” Hadjichrysanthou said.

He argued that Turkey and its “subordinate local administration” have publicly stated their intentions to exploit Varosha for their benefit, disregarding Security Council resolution 550, which calls for its return to its lawful inhabitants.

“The belligerent rhetoric of Turkey further adds to its destabilising actions on the ground in Cyprus and the wider region”.

He said the United Nations must demonstrate that there are no double standards in applying the UN Charter.

“Turkey’s actions since 1974 are a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Cyprus and by consequence of the Charter of the United Nations.

“The sovereignty and territorial integrity of States under attack must be defended, no matter where the attacks are coming from or how much time has passed.

“The Security Council must stand behind its resolutions and ensure that they have meaning; otherwise, we risk undermining the credibility of the international system.”