UK Foreign Minister Lord Ahmad has said that the British government welcomes the diplomatic understanding announced on 9 October with regard to the village of Pyla, where the intention of the Turkish Cypriot side to construct a new road had caused tension and led to physical attacks against UN equipment and personnel.

He was responding to a question by the Lords’ Deputy Speaker Lord Rogan about any discussions that have been held with the “trnc government”, referring to the puppet regime in the Turkish occupied north part of Cyprus, to support both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots living in the village of Pyla/Pile.

Lord Ahmad stated that in accordance with the rest of the international community, with the sole exception of Turkey, “the UK does not recognise the self-declared ‘TRNC’ as an independent state; the UK recognises the Republic of Cyprus as the sovereign authority for the island of Cyprus.”

On the issue of Pyla, he added that the UK Government have engaged with all parties, including Turkish Cypriot “authorities”, about recent events in the UN Buffer Zone.

Lord Ahmad concluded by adding that London “recognises the constructive approach taken by all sides, along with the critical role of the UN, to find a way forward that meets the needs of both communities.”

In August 2023, the Turkish Cypriot side unilaterally announced its intention to build a road through the buffer zone between the villages of Pyla and occupied Arsos. Turkish Cypriots and settlers entered the buffer zone and attacked personnel and vehicles of UNFICYP, injuring a small number of peacekeepers.

The international community, including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, condemned the attack. Later on, discussions began aiming at resolving the issue.

An understanding was reached on arrangements that will resolve the ongoing situation on the Pyla/Pile plateau, according to a statement by Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Deputy Special Adviser on Cyprus (DSASG), Colin Stewart on October 9, 2023.

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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