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UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus extended until June 2008

14 December 2007 Reaffirming that the status quo on the Mediterranean island is unacceptable, the Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) until next June.

In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body said that “time is not on the side of a settlement, and that negotiations to reunify the island have been at an impasse for too long.”

Expressing its full support for the July 2006 agreement – which set out the necessary framework for a political process designed to lead to the resumption of full-fledged negotiations– the Council voiced deep concern over the “lack of any progress.”

In his latest report to the Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities continue to publicly endorse the agreement’s principles that a settlement must be based “on a bi-zonal, bicommunal federation and political equality,” but that “a lack of political will to fully engage” was preventing any tangible progress.

“All parties need to show greater flexibility and greater political courage,” he wrote, describing a September meeting of the leaders that did not produce any concrete results as “a lost opportunity.”

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