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Cyprus Today - - FEATURE -

A TRNC diplo­matic source spoke up for the role of Unficyp, say­ing it played “both a pos­i­tive and a neg­a­tive role”.

The source, who asked not to be named, said: “On the plus side, the UN is in­volved in help­ing con­fi­dence­build­ing mea­sures, or­gan­is­ing con­fer­ences and meet­ings, clear­ing mines and en­sur­ing the se­cu­rity of the cease­fire line.

“On the neg­a­tive, the UN has lost its abil­ity to be ob­jec­tive on the ground and in its re­ports. The con­struc­tive role of the Turk­ish Cypriot side and the con­stant ob­sta­cles placed by the Greek Cypriot side are be­ing ig­nored.

“But this has re­sulted in a nev­erend­ing process and the buf­fer zone cease­fire line has be­come a ‘com­fort zone’ for the Greek Cypri­ots, be­cause they now be­lieve that they can do any­thing and get away with it.

“I am against the view that the UN should go al­to­gether, but this sit­u­a­tion can­not con­tinue.” par­tic­u­larly on the Greek Cypriot side.

“The UN has been un­able to de­ter­mine who is in the right, who is in the wrong as to who gen­uinely wants a so­lu­tion, and who does not . . .

“It is fair to say there is a gen­eral de­crease in the level of trust to­wards the UN. The fun­da­men­tal role of the UN is to en­cour­age, di­rect and as­sist peo­ple in the re­spect of their hu­man rights. But this has not hap­pened for us Turk­ish Cypri­ots . . . The UN to­day rep­re­sents a ma­jor dis­ap­point­ment for us.”

The ar­gu­ment that the UN had “failed” Turk­ish Cypri­ots was re­jected, how­ever, by pro-Turk­ish Cypriot Bri­tish peer Lord Magin­nis, who laid the blame in­stead at the door of TRNC ad­min­is­tra­tions.

“TRNC gov­ern­men­tal PR has failed to make proper use of on­go­ing UN anal­y­sis. [For­mer ne­go­tia­tor] Ergün Ol­gun recog­nised this and sought to cor­rect the weak­ness but was frus­trated by one or two short-sighted col­leagues. I think Deputy Prime Min­is­ter [Ku­dret] Öz­er­say may at­tempt to take ac­tion but PR bul­letins from Le­fkoşa are cur­rently in­ef­fec­tive.”

While agree­ing the UN did not keep the peace in Cyprus “from a purely mil­i­tary point of view”, he com­mented of sug­ges­tions that Unficyp be “down­scaled”: “It is a mat­ter of bal­ance — I don’t know the ac­tual num­bers but the UN brings more ‘bal­ance’ than would be the case if it was to with­draw.”

Lord Magin­nis also ex­pressed scep­ti­cism about whether Unficyp played a pos­i­tive role in fa­cil­i­tat­ing bi­com­mu­nal projects, com­ment­ing: “There has never been any sin­cer­ity to­wards ‘bi­com­mu­nal ac­tiv­i­ties’ from the Greek Cypriot side and I ‘shud­der’ when I hear of ‘fur­ther talks’ that sim­ply ex­ploit over 40 years of in­jus­tice that em­anated from the Eoka-B up­ris­ing.

“There is no gen­uine re­peat­ing the folly of talks!

“Pres­i­dent [Mustafa] Akıncı should not get sucked in yet again. Bet­ter PR from Le­fkoşa — not least within the UK — is 75 per cent of the an­swer.” ba­sis for

From left, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and For­eign Min­is­ter Ku­dret Öz­er­say, Al­pay Dur­du­ran of the New Cyprus Party, and po­lit­i­cal science and in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions lec­turer at Eastern Mediter­ranean Univer­sity Pro­fes­sor Ah­met Sözen

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