UN Security Council approves 6 month extension for UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus

UN Security Council has approved 6 month extension for the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) until 31 July 2015, noting that despite some progress made in negotiations between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides, a “comprehensive and permanent settlement” is still lacking.

In a unanimously adopted resolution, Council members urged both sides to further implement confidence-building measures and move towards the establishment of “mutually-acceptable steps”.

UNFICYP has been deployed on the island since 1964, when inter-communal fighting erupted.

In his statement to the press following his briefing at the UN Security Council, UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide expressed that he was optimistic about resumption of negotiations but there was still a deadlock between the sides on the issue.