UN Security Council condemns Pyla violence

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Members of the Security Council condemned the violent incidents in the Pyla buffer zone, with assaults by Turkish Cypriots against UN peacekeepers, reiterating their full support for UNFICYP.

After a long meeting with several extensions due to obstacles in reaching an agreement, a statement was issued Monday expressing “serious concern” and said the unauthorised construction work constitutes a violation of the status quo in the UN buffer zone and runs against the resolutions of the Security Council.

They also condemned the attacks on UN peacekeepers and the damage to UN vehicles by Turkish Cypriot personnel and wished a speedy and full recovery to the injured peacekeepers.

“Attacks against peacekeepers may constitute crimes under international law and reaffirm their full commitment to the safety of all UN personnel.”

Members of the Security Council welcomed “the halt in unauthorised construction by the Turkish Cypriot side and the removal of equipment and personnel.”

Security Council members “underscored the need to avoid further unilateral or escalatory actions by any party that could raise tensions on the island and harm prospects for a settlement.”

“The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their full support for UNFICYP and its mandated authority in and delineation of the Buffer Zone and called for the removal of all unauthorised constructions and the prevention of unauthorised military or civilian activities within and along the ceasefire lines.”

Both sides were encouraged “to take tangible steps in support of the efforts of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative and to fully engage with UNFICYP to promote a conducive climate.”

The Security Council appealed to the sides to agree on the Secretary-General’s proposal to appoint a United Nations envoy “who could provide critical support in the search for common ground with the goal of returning to formal negotiations for a lasting settlement in Cyprus.”

The Cyprus government, the UN, the EU, Britain, and the United States have condemned the attacks against UN peacekeepers who were attacked on Friday while blocking unauthorised construction works by the Turkish Cypriots inside the buffer zone.