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