The urgent plea to Unficyp is for immediate intervention in the buffer zone dispute in Cyprus, following two separate incursions by Turkish troops that violated the status quo in the Ayios Dhometios buffer zone. The plea calls for action to address and reverse these violations, which have raised stability concerns in the region.
What is the urgent plea to Unficyp regarding the buffer zone dispute in Cyprus?
The urgent plea to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (Unficyp) is for immediate intervention to address and reverse violations in the Ayios Dhometios buffer zone. The request follows two separate incursions by Turkish troops involving equipment installation and military vehicle entry, which disrupted the status quo and raised stability concerns in the region.
Diplomatic Efforts Amidst Tensions
In a recent development that has raised concerns over the stability in Cyprus, an official letter was dispatched to the senior officials of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (Unficyp), with an urgent request. The letter appeals for immediate action to counteract and reverse the recent violations in the Ayios Dhometios buffer zone. This region, known for its delicate balance, has witnessed a concerning disruption of the status quo ante, as reported on Thursday.
The plea comes on the heels of two separate violations of the buffer zone, which unfolded rapidly within the week. President Nikos Christodoulides had previously indicated that the state would undertake both “visible and invisible” measures in response to these escalations.
Recent Buffer Zone Incursions
The initial breach occurred on Monday and involved an incursion by Turkish troops. Reportedly, about 40 soldiers trespassed into the buffer zone, installing equipment, including a camera and a rotating antenna, within an abandoned structure. The subsequent incident, taking place on Wednesday afternoon, saw the entry of Turkish soldiers on a military vehicle into the buffer zone; they withdrew following verbal directives issued by Unficyp personnel.
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cyprus to the UN, Andreas Hadjichrysanthou, under instruction, communicated via platform X on Thursday morning. He confirmed the dispatch of the letter to UN Assistant Secretary-General responsible for peace operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, and to the UN Deputy Secretary-General for political and peacekeeping affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo. The letter stressed the necessity for Unficyp’s intervention to restore the previous status.
In his statement, Hadjichrysanthou underscored the urgency for the UN to communicate strong messages to Turkey regarding this critical matter.
Government Response and Observations
Speaking on a CyBC morning program, Government Spokesman Constantinos Letymbiotis mentioned that while the occupying force’s intentions remain unclear, the government’s focus persists on reigniting negotiations, a process now deemed even more critical.
Victoras Papadopoulos, Head of the president’s press office, remarked on the transformation of the north into what he described as a colony under Turkey, highlighting the aggressive stance taken by Turkey in the region.
Following the incidents, a national council was convened in a similar approach adopted post-Pyla crisis, where Turkish troops were repelled following a confrontation at a road construction site, a situation that had seen previously settled terms with the UN come under dispute, terms that were initially viewed as favorable to both Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.
President Christodoulides warned of repercussions a day after the first incident, labeling the buffer zone breach as a “very serious” affair. He maintained that the UN had assured the reinstatement of the status quo. Should the situation remain unresolved, the president affirmed that certain decisions, already made, would be executed.
He reiterated the determined stance on Wednesday, following the second incident, indicating that “the National Guard, the Republic of Cyprus,” had resolved upon a response method. Christodoulides also stated that EU officials, alongside the permanent members of the UN Security Council, had been briefed on the matter.
Clarifications and Continued Monitoring
In an unusual delay that fueled speculation about Turkey’s direct involvement, a Turkish Cypriot official finally declared on Wednesday that the installations were for security purposes, intended to thwart illegal migration.
Unficyp spokesperson Aleem Siddique confirmed on Wednesday that no changes had been made since the initial violation. However, he assured that the peacekeeping force remains vigilant and continues to monitor the area closely.
- The urgent plea to Unficyp is for immediate intervention in the buffer zone dispute in Cyprus following two separate incursions by Turkish troops.
- The plea calls for action to address and reverse the violations in the Ayios Dhometios buffer zone that have raised stability concerns in the region.
- The recent violations involved the installation of equipment and the entry of Turkish soldiers in the buffer zone.
- The Cypriot government is focused on reigniting negotiations and views the situation as critical.
- Unficyp has confirmed that no changes have been made in the buffer zone but continues to monitor the area closely.