Ankara blasts UNSC decision to extend peace keeping mission in Cyprus
The Turkish Foreign Ministry criticized on Monday United Nations Security Council's (UNSC) resolution to extend the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus for another year.
"In view of the prevailing conditions on the island it is necessary to keep the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) beyond 31 January 2023, and to extend its mandate until 31 January 2024," the UNSC resolution said.
In protest against the decision, the Foreign Ministry of Turkey released a statement saying:
"Despite the fact that they are not included in the reports of the United Nations Secretary-General, we observe that the Council, detached from the realities on the ground and disregarding the will of the TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] towards a two-state settlement, insists on settlement models that have been tried and have failed many times."
The ministry added that the resolution was in disregard of the "realistic, constructive and sincere cooperation proposals conveyed by TRNC President Ersin Tatar to the UN Secretary-General" in early July 2022.
Tatar's said proposal is based on a two-state solution, envisaging a relation between the sides "on the basis of sovereign equality and equal international status."
TRNC is a de facto state that was established after the invasion of the northern part of the island in 1974 by the Turkish military, and it remains unrecognized by any UN member except for Turkey.
UNFICYP was established under UNSC Resolution 186 in 1964 to prevent a recurrence of fighting following violence between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. After the Turkish invasion, the UNSC extended and expanded the mission to prevent the dispute turning into war, and UNFICYP was redeployed to patrol the United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus, and assist in the maintenance of the military status quo.
As of 2018, the mission had a strength of 1,009.
In late September 2022, after Washington lifted defense trade restrictions to the Republic of Cyprus, Ankara announced that it is planning to reinforce its military presence in northern Cyprus, where it already has about 40,000 troops.