06 December, 2006
Deliberations begin at the UN Security Council on Friday to adopt the resolution for the renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) that expires December 15th.
Security Council members will be briefed by the UN Secretary General's Special Representative in Cyprus Michael Moller during a closed session on Secretary-General Kofi Annan's final report to the SC on the renewal of UNFICYP's mandate.
Deliberations amongst the five permanent members of the Security Council to prepare the draft resolution which will be presented will follow. The Security Council meeting to adopt the resolution will be held on December 15.
Well informed sources, commenting on reports that the resolution might contain references regarding the possible future withdrawal of UNFICYP, said that neither the Americans, who traditionally support the restructuring of UNFICYP, nor the SG's references indicate a possible change in the resolution's wording.
The same sources said that the leaking on the part of the British to the press were rather one sided and are related to the pressure on the Greek Cypriot side in view of the discussions on Turkey's EU course in Brussels.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agreed on July 8, 2006, during a meeting in the presence o fUN Undersecretary for political affairs Ibrahim Gambari, to begin a process of bicommunal discussions on issues that affect the day-to-day life of the people and concurrently those that concern substantive issues, both contributing to a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem.
Following the agreement, senior aides of the two leaders in Cyprus, Tasos Tzionis and Rasit Pertev, began meetings in the office of the UN Secretary General's Special Representative in Cyprus Michael Moller in the UN-controlled buffer zone to work out the modalities for the implementation of the July agreement.
Source: Athens News Agency