The British High Commission, the French Embassy and the US Embassy in Cyprus welcome the understanding reached to stabilize the situation on the Pyla/Pile plateau in the UN-Buffer Zone, a joint statement posted on Platform X says.

UK, US and France point out that they recognize the constructive approach taken by the sides in this process as well as the essential role of the UN, to find a way forward to develop Pyla/Pile in a manner that meets the needs of both communities and continues to ensure security in the area.

All three diplomatic mission point out that the reiterate full support for UNFICYP and for Special Representative of the Secretary General Colin Stewart in their engagement with the sides to avoid tensions in Cyprus that could undermine a peaceful settlement.

“We call on both sides to remain flexible and open toward taking steps to resume the negotiations and continue to emphasise the urgent need for the Secretary-General to appoint a UN Envoy”, the joint statement reads.

In August 2023, the Turkish Cypriot side unilaterally announced its intention to build the 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. A peacekeeper was punched in the face.

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

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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