Explanation of Vote/UNFICYP


Mr. President,

Having voted against the draft resolution today, I would like to briefly share with you the reasons that compelled us to do so.

First of all, I wish to remind and underline that the partnership state established by the 1959 London and Zurich Treaties, in the shape of the "Republic of Cyprus" and the "Government of Cyprus", collapsed in 1963, when the Greek Cypriots forcefully expelled the Turkish Cypriots from all state institutions, including the Government.

Since that day there has not been a joint and constitutional government representing the whole of Cyprus, either legally or functionally, and the two peoples have been living separately under their own administrations.

Mr. President,

As you all know, the Security Council Resolution 186 (1964) setting up the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) following the Greek Cypriot armed offensive against the Turkish Cypriots, and the subsequent Council resolutions extending the mandate of the Force, could not be accepted by the Turkish Cypriot side and, as one of the guarantors of Cyprus, by Turkey.

The main reason for this has been the references made in all these resolutions to the "Government of Cyprus", which in reality has been representing only the Greek Cypriots since 1963. As a direct consequence of this, consent of the Turkish Cypriot side has never been formally sought, whereas UNFICYP should have functioned with the open consent of both parties on the Island.

Actually, this wrong approach to consider the "Government of Cyprus" as the sole government of the whole Island has unfortunately been the main obstacle on the way to finding a just, lasting and comprehensive solution for over 45 years.

Mr. President,

Turkey has never objected to the intent behind the establishment of UNFICYP, which was to protect the Turkish Cypriots. Our objection has always been to the way these resolutions are adopted and the language they contained. Yet, thanks to the spirit of goodwill and cooperation displayed by the Turkish Cypriot side, UNFICYP has been functioning in the Northern part of the Island in accordance with the modalities set by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Mr. President,

It is for these reasons of principle that Turkey felt the need to vote against this resolution. As to the text itself, we have already shared with the members of the Council our detailed views and objections regarding several aspects of the resolution. So, I will not repeat them. We have also conveyed them in writing to the Presidency in our previous consultations.

Mr. President,

We look forward to the day when the Cyprus issue is solved along the well-established UN parameters, on the basis of a new partnership within the framework of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, in line with the political equality of the two sides. The Turkish Cypriots, by voting "yes" in the referendum in 2004, have proven that they want a just and lasting comprehensive settlement. They are prepared once again not to spare any effort to achieve a durable and equitable solution. We very much hope that the Greek Cypriot would respond positively to the call of the Turkish Cypriots.

Thank you, Mr. President.