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Security Council extends mandate of UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus

The Security Council today renewed the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Cyprus for six months, until 31 January 2018, following the recent failure to reach a settlement to the longstanding conflict between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the Mediterranean island.

In a resolution adopted unanimously, the 15-member body also requested the Secretary-General to conduct a strategic review of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (-) and report back within four months.

Welcoming the progress made in the peace process since February 2014 and noting the outcome of the recent Conference on Cyprus, the Council encouraged the two sides and all involved participants to sustain their commitment to a settlement under UN auspices.

Despite hopes for a comprehensive settlement, the UN-facilitated conference held from 28 June to 7 July in the Swiss town of Crans-Montana concluded without an agreement. Despite his disappointment, Secretary-General António Guterres said that initiatives can still be pursued and developed in order to address the outstanding issues.

Further in the resolution, the Council urged the two sides to implement confidence-building measures that can contribute to a conducive environment for a settlement.

UNFICYP was originally set up by the Council in 1964 to prevent further fighting between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.