The UN Security Council unanimously adopted on Wednesday resolution 2453 (2019) extending the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus, UNFICYP, for another six months until July 31, 2019.
In their interventions all diplomats expressed support for a Cyprus settlement.
Earlier on, Cyprus’ permanent representative to the UN gave the Cypriot government’s consent for UNFICYP’s continued presence.
Addressing the Security Council, acting US permanent representative to the UN Jonathan Cohen noted that “on principle, perpetual peacekeeping missions are unacceptable.”
“We are pleased that the new mandate reflects this view and that the Secretary-General will examine how the many UN activities on Cyprus can be best configured in the current environment,” he said.
According to the American diplomat “UNFICYP and the UN’s overall presence in Cyprus cannot be a substitute for, or be a part of a landscape that lacks a path toward a political solution. We look forward to the Secretary-General’s report particularly on this point.”
He reiterated the US position in support of “a comprehensive settlement to reunify the island as a bizonal, bi-communal federation, to benefit all Cypriots and the wider region.”
He further underscored that “while the United Nations has a critical role to play, the political process towards a settlement must be Cypriot-led.”
“For a durable, lasting peace to take hold, the leaders must demonstrate the political courage and will to negotiate in good faith and with a sense of urgency,” he noted.
“We urge the leaders to proactively engage UN consultant Jane Holl Lute to negotiate the terms of reference for resuming negotiations,” Cohen said.
Reacting on his part to Cohen’s statement Russian permanent representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzia expressed regret for the fact “that one delegation is making attempts to use the sensitive situation of the island to put forward its own positions on this.”
Russia, he noted, “trusts that the adoption by the Security Council of the resolution 2453 will help UNFICYP implement its mandate to set up security conditions for a settlement on the island.”
“The Cypriot settlement is one of the few agenda items of the Security Council where a fully unified position of its members helps to provide a solid international support for efforts of the Cypriot parties to achieve agreement on comprehensive settlement on the basis of the UN resolutions,” he said, adding that “the reason for the consensus is the balanced position of the Council and its consent for the Cypriots themselves.”
British deputy permanent representative Jonathan Allen said “we continue to be strong supporters of a just and lasting settlement to reunite Cyprus based on the internationally accepted model for a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.”
He added that “we endorse the Secretary-General`s view the prospects remain alive for a comprehensive settlement.”
“Through the unanimous adoption of this resolution today we are sending a clear message to all sides: to work towards the resumption of talks through constructive engagement with the United Nations consultant Ms Jane Holl Lute, and her work to reach agreement on terms of reference for resuming talks within a foreseeable horizon,” he noted.
China “upholds an objective and fair position on the Cyprus issue, and respects the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Cyprus,” the Chinese permanent representative Ma Zhaoxu said during his intervention.
“China believes that the Cyprus issue should be settled based on relevant UN resolutions through a dialogue and negotiations between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to gradually narrow the differences and reach a lasting comprehensive, fair and reasonable solution acceptable to both sides,” he added.
(Cyprus News Agency)