The government expects the UN peace-keeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) mandate will be renewed later this month by the UN Security Council, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Sunday.
It would be “an absolute paradox” if things regarding UNFICYP changed while an effort for the resumption of the negotiations for a Cyprus settlement is underway by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, through his envoy Jane Holl Lute, he pointed out.
Prodromou also stressed that President Nicos Anastasiades is focused on the consultations taking place with Lute, firmly promoting the positions of the Greek Cypriot side.
Asked if the government expects that the UNFICYP mandate will be renewed for six months at the end of this month, the spokesman recalled that there is a general orientation of reviewing peace-keeping operations, adding however that in the case of Cyprus it is necessary that UNFICYP remains on the island and continues to play its role as long as there is Turkish occupation and thousands of Turkish troops are still in Cyprus.
He said this message has been conveyed by President Anastasiades during meetings with foreign interlocutors, as well as by Cyprus diplomats, noting that foreign officials have an understanding of this position.
With every respect to the plans and reviews being made “we believe and expect that the presence of the peace-keeping force on the island will continue,” he added.
He underlined that “UNFICYP plays a very significant role as it is due to the peace-keeping force that the situation is calm and any incidents are prevented.”
The UN Security Council will meet on January 30 to adopt a resolution regarding the renewal of the UNFICYP mandate for another six months.