CNA News

Buffer zone status in agreement for Pyla protected, says Cyprus Government

Cyprus Government has confirmed the reaching of an understanding with the United Nations Peacekeeping Force UNFICYP, for Pyla and the area north of it (Platis location), Spokesperson Constantinos Letymbiotis said in a written statement.

He said that consensus was reached after intensive and thorough consultations between the Republic of Cyprus and the United Nations Peacekeeping Force headed by Tasos Tzionis, National Security Adviser and Colin Stewart, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus.

The understanding includes provisions, which address the concerns of the Republic of Cyprus regarding the status of the buffer zone which is safeguarded and restores order in the specific area, Letymbiotis said.

He also notes that the understanding provides for the urban and residential development of the area as anticipated by the residents, for the benefit of all, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and create conditions for peaceful and creative coexistence of the residents in a period in which the resumption of the peace talks towards a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem is needed.

The Spokesperson also underlines that all this time the Government was in constant contact with the community of Pyla, which he thanks for its constructive contribution during the consultations.

Letymbiotis also assures that the Government will work with sincere political will to implement the provisions of the agreement.

He furthermore says that at the same time the President of the Republic remains committed to the efforts to resume the negotiations from where they were left off, with the aim of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and the principles and values of the European Union.

In August 2023, the Turkish Cypriot side unilaterally announced its intention to build the road through the buffer zone between the villages of Pyla and occupied Arsos. Turkish Cypriots and settlers entered the buffer zone and attacked personnel and vehicles of UNFICYP. A peacekeeper was punched in the face.

The international community, including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, condemned the attack. Later on, discussions began aiming at resolving the issue.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.