UN Security Council renews UNFICYP mandate unamimously
United Nations, Jun 16 - The UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1604, thus renewing the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for a further six months, until 15 December 2005.
Cyprus' Permanent Representative at the UN, Ambassador Andreas Mavroyiannis, told reporters after the resolution was adopted on Wednesday that ''the government of Cyprus holds the view that the security situation on the island, defined by the continuing presence of the Turkish occupation troops, still requires the presence of UNFICYP.''
''We have therefore given our consent to the extension of the mandate of UNFICYP and we welcome the decision of the Security Council to renew UNFICYP with the same force level and the same concept of operation,'' he said.
Mavroyiannis noted that ''the government of Cyprus takes note of the satisfaction expressed by the Security Council for the lifting of restrictions of movement of UNFICYP by the Turkish forces in Cyprus and we also take note and expect the Turkish side to cooperate with UNFICYP for the restoration of the military status quo ante in Strovilia.''
''We also hope that the Turkish side will cooperate for the ascertainment of the fate of the missing persons in Cyprus, as called upon by the Security Council,'' he added.
In its resolution, the Security Council reaffirms all its relevant resolutions on Cyprus, in particular resolution 1251 and subsequent resolutions.
It also calls on the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkish forces to restore in Strovilia the military status quo, which existed there prior to 30 June 2000.
Welcoming the report of the Secretary General of 6 June 2005 on the UN operation in Cyprus, the Security Council takes note with satisfaction of the lifting of restrictions of movement of UNFICYP by the Turkish Cypriot side and the Turkish occupation forces.
It also welcomes the fact that over seven million crossings by Greek Cypriots to the north and Turkish Cypriots to the south have taken place, and encourages the opening of additional crossing points.
The Security Council expresses concern over the increase in crime across the ceasefire line and urges both sides to increase cooperation in order to address this issue.
Furthermore it welcomes all efforts to promote bicommunal contacts and events, including, inter alia, on the part of the UN, and urges the two sides to promote further bicommunal contacts and to remove any obstacles to such contacts.