Nicosia slams UN for allowing illegal activities in buffer zone

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In a rare confrontation with peacekeepers, despite previous representations, the Foreign Ministry has voiced ‘serious concern’ over UNFICYP not stopping illegal construction at the Cetinkaya stadium inside Nicosia’s buffer zone.

“The Government remains gravely concerned as, despite its numerous démarches by the ministry, UNFICYP did not take any step for terminating the illegal works conducted in the area, and now informs the ministry of its intention to ‘permit’ the commencement of the use of this area,” said a Foreign Ministry statement.

It said the Republic of Cyprus, as the host country, which is also the legal owner of the plot, has not granted its consent or authorisation for any works or use of the land.

“The Government has repeatedly explained to UNFICYP the sensitivity of the area due to repeated violations of the status quo by the Turkish occupation forces.

“The ministry would like to reiterate that the “buffer zone” is under the effective control of the Government of the Republic, which has temporarily suspended only its military jurisdiction to facilitate the implementation of UNFICYP’s mandate.

“The Republic of Cyprus continues to apply its civil jurisdiction in the area.”

Nicosia called on the UN to undertake “all necessary actions to terminate and reverse” the ongoing violations in the area.

It has intensified a row with the UN – that has yet to respond — at a time it is garnering support for a resumption of peace talks that have remained frozen since July 2017.