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Cyprus: UN Peacekeeping Mission Extended

Cyprus: Security Council Extends Mandate Of UN Peacekeeping Mission

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) by six months, welcoming September’s historic launch of talks between the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities aimed at reunifying the Mediterranean island.

The Council voted unanimously to keep the mission, which has been in operation since 1964 after the eruption of intercommunal violence between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, in place through 15 June 2009.

The negotiations have created “the prospect of a comprehensive and durable settlement,” the resolution said, urging the sides to take full advantage of the opportunity by stepping up the pace of talks and maintaining the existing atmosphere of trust and goodwill.

The 15-member body also called on the sides to continue to consult with UNFICYP on the demarcation of the buffer zone.

In his latest report on Cyprus to the Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was “encouraged” that Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat had decided to resume formal negotiations towards achieving a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

“It reflected political courage, vision and commitment, which both leaders clearly share,” he wrote.

The latest round of talks took place between the leaders of the two communities last week in the UN Protected Area in Nicosia.

ENDS

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