The Report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the activities of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus dated 9 January 2015 (S/2015/17) which covers the period from 21 June to 15 December 2014 has been published.
While the said Report includes various positive developments which have emerged as a result of the ongoing determination of the Turkish Cypriot side to display good will and engage in cooperation, it also contains omissions and errors. In this connection, paragraph 26, which makes simultaneous reference to both the comprehensive settlement negotiations and natural resources issues and thus constitutes one of the most critical sections of the Report, has not been written in an objective and fair manner despite all our warnings within the framework of the latest developments. Hence, it is unacceptable that the said paragraph depicts the natural resources issue as one between Turkey and South Cyprus and omits any reference to the Turkish Cypriot side as having equal and inherent rights over the natural gas on and around the Island. Furthermore, the negligence to indicate that the Navigational Telex (Navtex) issued by Turkey was issued upon the request and on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot side as a result of the unilateral activities regarding the natural resources of the Island carried out by the Greek Cypriot side is yet further proof that the Report is far from depicting the facts of this matter. Unfortunately, this situation is only serving to encourage the Greek Cypriot side to maintain its negative stance which insistently abstains from developing an understanding of cooperation on the issue of hydrocarbons, which are the shared property of the two communities on the Island.
In the same paragraph, it is far from a realistic and fair approach that rather than openly calling upon the Greek Cypriot side to return to the negotiating table without any preconditions, very general expressions are used which attribute equal responsibility for the situation to both sides. This is particularly unacceptable since it is the Greek Cypriot side which unilaterally suspended the comprehensive settlement negotiations at a time when the process was about to enter a new phase. In this connection, the Greek Cypriot side is the only interlocutor of the call made on the two sides regarding the resumption of the negotiations.
Although the Report contains references that the status quo cannot be maintained, no message is given to the effect that the Greek Cypriot side is expected to act within the basis of cooperation and partnership with the Turkish Cypriot side, whether at the comprehensive negotiations or the hydrocarbons issue. This undermines the conclusion that the status quo must change and reduces it to mere words.
The lifting of the isolation imposed on the Turkish Cypriots, which is one of the primary components of the status quo on the Island and has no moral or legal ground, constitutes another important factor which would instill the understanding of cooperation and partnership between the two sides on the Island. In this connection, we note the reference in the current Report, which was not present in other recent UNFICYP reports, to the removal of restrictions and barriers that impede the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community. In conclusion, we remind the United Nations and the international community that the lifting of all dimensions of the isolation without further delay is a humanitarian duty and that steps towards this end will contribute to a comprehensive settlement, and we reiterate that the result-oriented efforts of the Turkish Cypriot side will continue relentlessly.