Calm at Pyla, UNFICYP monitors situation

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There was calm in the Pyla buffer zone on Monday, with UNFICYP saying the force is monitoring the situation and will take action to stop any unauthorised resumption of construction.

Speaking to CNA, UNFICYP Spokesperson Aleem Siddique said it has been quiet with “no change” since Sunday.

“There is no construction equipment or personnel inside the buffer zone anymore.

“We are monitoring the situation closely; we are maintaining a presence in the area, and we are on standby to prevent any resumption of unauthorised construction work in this area.”

Turkish Cypriot media reported that work on the road would resume on Monday.

Siddique said, “Yes, there will be rumours circulating.

“We are in the area; we are monitoring the situation, and there has been no resumption of work, and we will take action to stop any resumption.”

He said everything is moving to New York, where the UN Security Council will be briefed Monday evening during a scheduled closed session. The session begins at 1500 local time (22:00 Cyprus time).

Intense diplomatic consultations are underway over the situation in the buffer zone and plans of the Turkish side to construct a road connecting the occupied village of Arsos with a forward illegal military outpost.

The Cyprus government, the UN, the EU, the UK, and the US have condemned the attacks against members of the UN peacekeeping force who were attacked on Friday while blocking unauthorised construction works by the Turkish Cypriots inside the buffer zone.

The last round of negotiations ended inconclusively in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana.