Turkey slams U.N. decision to keep peacekeeping force in Cyprus

Turkey’s government criticised a decision this week by the United Nations Security Council to extend the mandate of a U.N. peacekeeping force in Cyprus, saying it had “no meaning and value for us”.

The U.N. failed to consult with Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus before taking the decision, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

"Unfortunately, this resolution, which is full of inconsistencies and disconnected from realities, ignores once again the will of the Turkish Cypriot people," the ministry said. It is against the U.N.’s own rules and mandate to fail to seek the approval of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), it said.

“We expect the U.N. to rectify this situation and to conclude an agreement with the TRNC authorities as soon as possible so that the UNFICYP’s presence on the TRNC territory would not be questioned," the ministry said.

Cyprus is represented in international organisations by the Republic of Cyprus, which is controlled by Greek Cypriots. The Republic of Cyprus is a member of the European Union on behalf of the whole island. The TRNC is only recognised as a state by Turkey.

Turkey and the TRNC are calling on the U.N. to recognise the TRNC as an equal to the Republic of Cyprus as a condition to restart talks on the island’s 47-year division. The U.N. is advocating a federal, bi-communal model.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded the north in response to a brief Greek Cypriot coup backed by the military government then ruling Athens. It keeps around 30,000 troops there.

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