CNA News

Commission will support implementation of agreement on Pyla, Ferreira says

The European Commission will support the implementation of the agreement reached on Pyla, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira said, welcoming the agreement.

“After the regrettable events of August, I welcome the agreement on Pyla/Pile in #Cyprus and congratulate the involved parties from both communities and the #UN for the achievement”, Ferreira wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

“The Commission will support implementation. Peace and cooperation are always the way forward,” she added.

The Commissioner for Cohesion is responsible for the EU’s support to reunification efforts as well as for support to the Turkish Cypriot community.

On Monday the reaching of an understanding with the United Nations Peacekeeping Force UNFICYP, for Pyla and the area north of it (Platis location) was announced by UNFICYP and was confirmed by the Government.

Spokesperson Constantinos Letymbiotis said in a written statement issued yesterday, that consensus was reached after intensive and thorough consultations between the Republic of Cyprus and the United Nations Peacekeeping Force.

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 noted 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.

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.

On August 18, 2023 Turkish Cypriots punched and kicked a group of international peacekeepers who obstructed crews illegally working on a road that would encroach on a U.N. controlled buffer zone.

The attack occurred as peacekeepers stood in the way of crews constructing a road to connect the Turkish occupied village of Arsos with the mixed Greek Cypriot-Turkish Cypriot village of Pyla, inside the buffer zone.

Members of the Security Council condemned on August 22, 2023, the incidents in the buffer zone in Pyla, and the attacks on UN peacekeepers and the damage to UN vehicles by Turkish Cypriot personnel. They emphasised that “attacks against peacekeepers may constitute crimes under international law and reaffirmed their full commitment to the safety of all UN personnel”.