HomeNewsDiplomatic NewsRussian Foreign Minster meets UN Envoy on Cyprus

Russian Foreign Minster meets UN Envoy on Cyprus

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Moscow, 3 May 2024 (TDI): Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held a meeting with the UN Secretary General’s Personal Envoy on Cyprus, Maria Angela Holguin, on May 2 in Moscow.

In the meeting, the Russian Foreign Minister conveyed his wish to advocate for UN envoy’s efforts to establish conditions for the renewal of talks between the two communities of Cyprus.

Moreover, he reasserted Russia’s steady stance on this matter, according to which pattern of settlement should be viable and fair, and the rest should be based on the applicable UN Security Council resolutions and decided by the Cypriot parties themselves, considering their equitable interests.

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Foreign Minister Lavrov positively analyzed the activities and operations of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

He also assessed the UN Secretary-General’s peace initiative to uphold stability on the island, which is crucial for facilitating a dialogue between the two communities of the island.

Additionally, he said the Russian Federation is ready to cooperate to optimize the effectiveness of the UN in this domain, including participation in UNFICYP.

Establishment and Mandate of UNFICYP

The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) was established in 1964 to address the inter-communal conflict between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the island. The conflict had escalated following Cyprus’ independence from British rule in 1960, leading to violence and tensions between the two communities.

In response to the escalating conflict and humanitarian crisis, the United Nations Security Council established UNFICYP in March 1964 under Resolution 186 to prevent further fighting and restore stability. The mandate of UNFICYP has evolved over the years but primarily focuses on:

  • Maintaining a buffer zone between the two sides (the “Green Line”).
  • Facilitating humanitarian assistance and supporting the return of displaced persons.
  • Monitoring the ceasefire lines and reporting any violations.
  • Promoting dialogue and confidence-building measures between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.

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Achievements of UNFICYP

UNFICYP has made significant contributions to peace and stability on the island of Cyprus over the decades. Some key achievements include, Preventing the resumption of large-scale hostilities between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot forces.

Facilitating the exchange of prisoners of war and missing persons between the two communities.

Promoting confidence-building measures such as bi-communal events and cultural exchanges. As well as, assisting in the restoration of essential services and infrastructure in conflict-affected areas.

Ongoing Relevance and Future Prospects

Against all odds, UNFICYP remains pertinent and crucial for sustaining stability and peace on the island of Cyprus. The mission continues to provide a vital buffer zone and platform for dialogue between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.

Looking ahead, the prospects for a comprehensive political solution remain challenging but not insurmountable, with ongoing efforts by the United Nations, the European Union, and other stakeholders to revitalize the peace process.

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