UN condemns assaults against peacekeepers in Cyprus

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In a press statement, the council members said that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute crimes under international law. They reaffirmed their full commitment to the safety and security of all UN personnel.

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UN condemns assaults against peacekeepers in Cyprus 1

On Friday, the UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) confirmed the attack in the buffer zone dividing the eastern Mediterranean island.

The incident occurred inside the buffer zone near Pyla, or Pile in Turkish, a village near the southeastern coast of Cyprus that both Greek and Turkish Cypriots inhabit.

The UNFICYP said peacekeepers were on a mission to “block unauthorized construction work in the area” after the Turkish Cypriot administration announced its plan to construct an 11 km long road between Pyla and another village in the Turkish-controlled Cypriot area.

In the statement, the Security Council members expressed “serious concern” at the launch of unauthorized construction work by the Turkish Cypriot side, stressing that the action runs contrary to Security Council resolutions and constitutes a violation of the status quo in the UN buffer zone.

They welcomed the halt in unauthorized construction by the Turkish Cypriot side and the removal of equipment and personnel. They underscored the need “to avoid any further unilateral or escalatory actions by either party that could raise tensions on the island and harm prospects for a settlement.”

The council members reaffirmed their commitment to an enduring, comprehensive and just settlement in accordance with the wishes of the Cypriot people. They are based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality set out in relevant Security Council resolutions.

They reaffirmed their full support for UNFICYP and its mandated authority in delineating the buffer zone and called for the removal of all unauthorized constructions and the prevention of unauthorized military or civilian activities within and along the ceasefire lines.

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