UN Security Council condemns attack against peacekeepers in Cyprus

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) — The UN Security Council on Monday condemned the assaults against UN peacekeepers and damage to UN vehicles in Cyprus by Turkish Cypriot personnel.

In a press statement, the council members said that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute crimes under international law and reaffirmed their full commitment to the safety and security of all UN personnel.

On Friday, the UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) confirmed the attack in the buffer zone dividing the eastern Mediterranean island.

The incident took place inside the buffer zone near Pyla, or Pile in Turkish, a village near the southeastern coast of Cyprus that is inhabited by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

The UNFICYP said peacekeepers were on a mission to “block unauthorized construction work in the area” after the Turkish Cypriot administration announced its plan to construct an 11 km long road between Pyla and another village located in the Turkish-controlled Cypriot area.

In the statement, the Security Council members expressed “serious concern” at the launch of unauthorized construction work by the Turkish Cypriot side, stressing that the action runs contrary to Security Council resolutions and constitutes a violation of the status quo in the UN buffer zone.

They welcomed the halt in unauthorized construction by the Turkish Cypriot side and the removal of equipment and personnel, and underscored the need “to avoid any further unilateral or escalatory actions by either party that could raise tensions on the island and harm prospects for a settlement.”

The council members reaffirmed their commitment to an enduring, comprehensive and just settlement in accordance with the wishes of the Cypriot people, and based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as set out in relevant Security Council resolutions.

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They reaffirmed their full support for UNFICYP and its mandated authority in and delineation of the buffer zone, and called for the removal of all unauthorized constructions and the prevention of unauthorized military or civilian activities within and along the ceasefire lines.

UNFICYP has been in control of the buffer zone since it was demarcated under UN Security Council resolutions after a Turkish military operation against Cyprus in 1974.

Published at english.news.cn

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