ADDS STATEMENT FROM TRNC
By Muhammet Ikbal Arslan, Michael Hernandez and Burak Dag
LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus/WASHINGTON (AA) - The Prime Ministry of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) blasted the UN on Thursday as the Security Council extended the international peacekeeping mission on the long-divided island for six months.
In a statement, it said the UN’s move was a “violation of the UN's own principles and rules” as the international body failed to obtain the consent of the Turkish Cypriots
“Ignoring the guiding principle of seeking the consent of all parties, which is the fundamental basis of peace operations, by the UN itself, deeply discredits the UN and makes its existence in our country questioned,” the statement added.
In addition, Turkiye’s Foreign Ministry, in a statement, said: "Despite all calls and warnings, the consent of the TRNC authorities was not sought once again, contrary to the UN rules and principles."
Reiterating Turkiye’s support to the TRNC’s condemnation of the UN resolution on the extension of the peacekeeping mission, the statement said: "We fully support the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) concerning the resolution."
It said that "while a legal arrangement has been persistently avoided, however, UNFICYP could continue its activities on the Island within the framework of the bona fide approach of the TRNC authorities," referring to the peacekeeping force.
Turkiye fully supports the TRNC’s steps that will be taken in this regard, it said.
"It is disconnected from reality and also contradictory on the side of the UN Security Council, on one side calling on the parties on the Island to reach a settlement, and on the other side, trying to impose a settlement model that has been tried and exhausted for more than fifty years, proven ineffective and does not reflect the consent of one side," the statement added.
Turkiye also underlined that the UN Security Council’s criticism of the TRNC’s steps on Maras is a "violation of property rights."
"Furthermore, the Council's disregard of the unilateral steps taken by the Greek Cypriot Administration in the Eastern Mediterranean, which are increasing the tensions and ignoring the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, is again an example of a double standard," it noted.
On Thursday, the 15-member council unanimously extended the mandate for a peacekeeping force in Cyprus, known as UNFICYP. The force has been on the island since 1964 and its mandate has been extended every six months.
The resolution noted "with regret" a lack of progress between the island's two sides "towards restarting formal negotiations at this time" and further emphasized that "the status quo is unsustainable, that the situation on the ground is not static, and that the lack of an agreement furthers political tensions and deepens the estrangement of both communities."
The resolution added that the Greek Cypriot administration "agreed that in view of the prevailing conditions on the island, it is necessary to keep the UNFICYP beyond Jan. 31 2022.
The Security Council, noting the UN's position that a "just settlement" should be based on "a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality," asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to submit a report by July 5 "on progress towards reaching a consensus starting point for meaningful results-oriented negotiations leading to a settlement."
Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.
Ethnic attacks starting in the early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.
In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aiming at Greece's annexation led to Turkey's military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was founded in 1983.
It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the UK.
The Greek Cypriot administration entered the European Union in 2004, the same year that Greek Cypriots thwarted a UN plan to end the decades-long dispute.
*Betul Yuruk contributed to this report from the United Nations