Government satisfied with UNSC statement on Pyla, says Spokesperson

Government Spokesperson Konstantinos Letymbiotis expressed on Tuesday the Government’s satisfaction with the UN Security Council’s statement on the issue of Pyla, noting at the same time the reaffirmation of the agreed basis for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

In his statements at the Presidential Palace after President Nikos Christodoulides’ meeting with the Committee of Occupied Communities, the Government Spokesperson said in response to a question that the position of the Cyprus Government in relation to yesterday’s UN Security Council statement was also expressed through the Foreign Ministry’s statement issued earlier.

“We express our satisfaction in relation to the Security Council Statement which sends clear messages regarding the violation of the status quo and the attempt to create new de facto situations within the buffer zone,” he said.

Letymbiotis added that the Government is pleased to note the reaffirmation by the Security Council of the agreed basis for a solution, a bizonal bicommunal federation with political equality, in accordance with the Security Council resolutions, but also the need the Security Council itself underlines for the appointment of a special envoy by the UN Secretary-General, something that both the President of the Republic and the Foreign Minister had stressed during the latter’s meeting with the UN Secretary-General.

Asked whether the Turkish president’s statements on the Cyprus problem constitute an obstacle to the process of resuming dialogue on the Cyprus problem, Letymbiotis said that the best answer has been given by the Security Council itself yesterday in its statement with clear references.

“What deserves special mention is that we have seen and experienced in recent days a broad reaction from the international community with clear messages and clear positions. What the Security Council reiterates and what we welcome is the commitment to the resolutions of the Security Council and the agreed basis for the solution of a bizonal bicommunal federation with political equality,” he said.

The Government Spokesperson added that the upcoming UN General Assembly, which the President of the Republic will attend, is an important milestone, where our side will reiterate its readiness to resume negotiations from where they had stopped.

“It is our sincere concern for a just, viable, final settlement of the Cyprus problem,” he concluded.

Members of the Security Council condemned on Tuesday, August 22, 2023, the incidents in the buffer zone, in the village of Pyla, in Larnaca district, with assaults against UN peacekeepers, reiterating their full support for UNFICYP.

They also condemned the attacks on UN peacekeepers and the damage to UN vehicles by Turkish Cypriot personnel and wished a speedy and full recovery to the peacekeepers who were injured. They emphasized that “attacks against peacekeepers may constitute crimes under international law and reaffirmed their full commitment to the safety of all UN personnel.”

On Friday 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 happened as peacekeepers stood in the way of work crews building a road to connect the Turkish occupied village of Arsos with the mixed Greek Cypriot-Turkish Cypriot village of Pyla, inside the buffer zone.

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.