Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses serious concern over UNFICYP not stopping illegal activities carried out in a stadium, located in the buffer zone, in Nicosia, despite representations.

In a press release, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it maintains serious concerns, as UNFICYP, despite repeated representations by the Ministry, has not taken steps to terminate the illegal activity in the area and announced its intention to “allow” the use of the space.

The ministry underlined that as the host country for UNFICYP and the owner of the plot of land where the illegal activities (“stadium”) are taking place, the Republic of Cyprus has not given its consent or approval for any works or use of the said space.

The government, it added, has repeatedly explained to UNFICYP the serious particularities presented by the wider area, due to the very frequent violations of the status quo by the occupying army.

The Ministry further repeated that the “buffer zone” is under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus, which has temporarily suspended the exercise of its military jurisdiction solely to facilitate the execution of the peacekeeping force’s mandate. The Republic of Cyprus, it added, “continues to exercise its civil jurisdiction within the ‘buffer zone’.”

Therefore, it underlined, “we expect that UNFICYP will proceed with the necessary actions to terminate and reverse the continued violations in the area”.

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.

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