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UN team to review UNFICYP's mandate
2005-05-03 15:14:53

Nicosia, May 3 (CNA) -- A UN team of experts will arrive Friday to Cyprus in order to conduct a review of UNFICYPís (UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus) mandate, force levels and concept of operations, after the recent decrease by 30% of the mission following a Security Council decision.

The team which was again here last August and suggested the downsize of the mission will meet with representatives of both sides on the island in the course of next week.

The team will prepare and submit recommendations, which are expected to be part of the UN SG's report to the UN Security Council for the renewal of UNFICYP's mandate.

Head of the team is Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber, Acting Director, Europe and Latin America Division, Office of Operations, Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).

The team includes representatives from the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), as well as representatives of DPKO's UN Civilian Police Office, and the Military Adviserís Office.

The Security Council accepted Secretary-Generalís recommendations that a review be carried out on the UN mission in Cyprus and on the strength of that review, the decision was taken that the mission would be reduced in size from 1230 to 860 peacekeepers.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

UNFICYP arrived in Cyprus in March 1964. It is the longest UN peace-keeping operation in the world.

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