No: 31, 31 January 2018, Press Release Regarding The United Nations Security Council Resolution On The Extension Of The Mandate Of The Un Peacekeeping Force In Cyprus

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 31.01.2018

The most recent UN Security Council resolution on the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for a period of six months was adopted on 30 January.

Regrettably, the wordings prejudging the future conduct of the Cyprus settlement process which were included in the last resolution on this issue, adopted on 27 July 2017, have been retained in the text of this resolution as well. In this context, as we also emphasized in our statement made last July, we have difficulty understanding the reasons for the inclusion of such wordings in the resolution, in a period in which the parties are reflecting on the possible way ahead within the framework of the UN Secretary-General’s call.

On the other hand, this last resolution also voices expectations pertaining to the future success of the settlement process. When evaluating such expectations, it is necessary to correctly assess the reasons why the Conference on Cyprus closed without an outcome. In fact, the last session of the Conference, held between 28 June and 7 July 2017, clearly demonstrated that major differences remained on key issues in many of the negotiation chapters. In particular, it also became apparent that the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides had differing conceptions of the new federal state whose establishment was aimed on the Island, and that the Greek Cypriots had no intention of entering into a partnership based on political equality with the Turkish Cypriots. Similarly, another major obstacle to an agreement was the Greek Cypriot side’s categorical rejection of a framework capable of addressing the legitimate security concerns of the Turkish Cypriots, which stem from their tragic past experience.

These were the considerations underlying the statement made by Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu immediately after the closing of the Conference on Cyprus, where he emphasized that it no longer seemed possible to reach a settlement based on the established parameters.

We therefore believe that any process in the coming period can only be successful if it is based on the current realities on the Island and the experience gained from the negotiations conducted during the past half century, and if it aims for suitable expectations and outcomes.

Kemal Demirciler Ambassador
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