UN force in Cyprus should stay additional 6 months, Annan recommends

UN force in Cyprus should stay additional 6 months, Annan recommends

Although the situation along the ceasefire lines in Cyprus has remained calm over the past few months, the United Nations Peacekeeping Force (UNFICYP) should remain on the island until 15 June 2003, Secretary-General Kofi Annan recommends in a new report released today.

Although the situation along the ceasefire lines in Cyprus has remained calm over the past few months, the United Nations Peacekeeping Force (UNFICYP) should remain on the island until 15 June 2003, Secretary-General Kofi Annan recommends in a new report released today.

“Despite the present calm on the island, I consider the presence of UNFICYP essential to the maintenance of the ceasefire between the two sides,” the Secretary-General writes in his latest report to the Security Council on the UN operation in Cyprus.

As for his mission of good offices, the Secretary-General notes that he met with the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders on two occasions, in September and in October, and that he shared with them his growing concern that the talks were not producing the kind of progress that was needed “if the opportunity at hand was to be seized.”

He also points out that on 11 November he submitted a proposal to the two leaders, which, in his opinion, could provide a “sound basis for agreement” on a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

“I am awaiting the reaction of the parties, and hope it will be possible to bring the effort to a decisive conclusion in the coming weeks,” he says.