FY 2007 budget request cuts aid for UNFICYP
Nicosia, Feb 16 –
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday that the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus is not included in the fiscal 2007 request, but if it becomes necessary to continue the mission, the US will find a way to meet the obligation.
She was responding to questions at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during the discussion on the "President's Budget for Foreign Affairs".
Asked by Senator Paul Sarbanes why she assumes that the mission will be terminated in fiscal year 2007, Ms. Rice expressed the belief that politically, a lot is changing with that obligation “including Cyprus' incorporation into the European Union”.
“We are working very hard now to get back to where we were a year ago, which was at the time of the Annan plan, with which I know there were some disagreements, to actually resolve this conflict. Should there be need for continued peacekeeping there, we’ll meet the obligation”, the US Secretary of State concluded.
The UN peace-keeping force in Cyprus has been on the island since March 1964. Today more than 1,000 persons serve in the force. The government of Cyprus contributes a substantial amount to the maintainance of the force.