Brussels, 18 August 2023 (TDI): In a statement released today, the European Union strongly condemns the assault on UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus. This action, perpetuated by Turkish Cypriot personnel, occurred within the buffer zone near Pyla/Pile.
"The EU condemns the assault on @UNPeacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) peacekeepers by personnel from the Turkish Cypriot side this morning." HR/VP @JosepBorrellF statement on the escalation of the situation around construction works near Pyla/Pile ⤵ https://t.co/tpY6nfbbbT
— European External Action Service – EEAS 🇪🇺 (@eu_eeas) August 18, 2023
Calling for the full respect of the UN mission’s mandated authority within the buffer zone, the EU urged all parties to maintain calm and stability in the region.
The recent developments involving unauthorized construction work by the Turkish Cypriots inside the UN buffer zone have raised serious concerns.
Additionally, these one-sided actions represent a violation of the current state of affairs. Also, they are contributing to an escalation of tensions.
“We unequivocally condemn today’s unacceptable attacks by Turkish Cypriots against members of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), who attempted to obstruct unauthorized road construction work within the dead zone near Pyla,” the EU’s statement read.
Furthermore, the need for a joint agreement on the way forward was emphasized. The EU also called for the resumption of work.
While referring to the European Council conclusions of June 2023, the EU reiterated its unwavering commitment to achieving an all-around settlement of the Cyprus problem within the framework of the United Nations.
In addition to the EU’s condemnation, UNFICYP expressed its disapproval of the assaults on UN peacekeepers and the damage to UN vehicles.
— UN Cyprus (@UN_CYPRUS) August 18, 2023
They reiterated in their statements that such moves are unacceptable and are a violation of international law.
The mission called on the Turkish Cypriot side to immediately withdraw personnel and machinery from the buffer zone and respect the mission’s authority within it.
Other diplomatic entities’ concerns
The British High Commission, the French Embassy, and the U.S.
Embassy in Cyprus joined their voices in expressing deep concern about the unauthorized construction activities and assaults on UN peacekeepers.
— U.S. Embassy Cyprus (@USEmbassyCyprus) August 18, 2023
These entities underlined the significance of esteeming the demilitarized zone and UNFICYP’s administration.
They prompted an immediate halt to any further escalatory conduct. One that could undermine the prospects for a peaceful agreement and a return to accommodations.