UN: When we have an agreement on Pyla we will announce it

There has been no resumption of the construction work in the buffer zone in Pyla area and no agreement has been reached yet on this issue, the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) spokesperson, Aleem Siddique, has told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), adding that once an agreement has been reached they will announce it.

Invited to comment on reports in the Turkish Cypriot media that an agreement has been reached and construction would resume on Monday, Siddique noted that the UNSG’s Special Representative in Cyprus, Colin Stewart, continues his contacts with the two sides on the island to finalise an agreement on this issue, something that has not been achieved yet.

“When we have an agreement we are going to make an announcement,” Siddique said.

He added that the situation in the buffer zone in Pyla area remains unchanged and UNFICYP is monitoring it.

“There has been no resumption of construction work,” he noted.

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 men of the occupation regime 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.