Cyprus: attack on UN peacekeepers

UN Blue Helmets were attacked near Pyla/Pile in Cyprus on Friday. A video shows UN vehicles being pushed aside by bulldozers and a group of peacekeepers being physically assaulted. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNZ), which is recognised only by Turkey, was working on the construction of a road which the UN says would run through the buffer zone on the divided island. (GR) /

There are reasons why this happened now

News website In discusses why the incident occurred now of all times:

“It is not unlikely that this escalation is also linked to the fact that the US administration decided [in September 2022] to lift the embargo on the Republic of Cyprus under the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act passed by Congress in 2019. Turkey and its pseudo-government in the occupied territories were particularly upset by this. Even more likely is that it is linked to the Greek-Turkish dialogue due to take place this autumn.”

Giorgos Malouchos
Hürriyet (TR) /

One-sided view endangers dialogue

The UN is not neutral, Hürriyet argues, fearing that the dialogue with Greece may suffer:

“We must certainly ask ourselves whether this incident will have a negative impact on the positive atmosphere that has recently developed between Turkey and Greece. ... Of course, much of the international community will interpret this incident on the basis of the images showing vehicles with UN inscriptions being removed from the area by the TRNC authorities rather than an actual intervention by the UN Peacekeeping Force in the Northern Cyprus project. Bearing in mind the way the UN has remained a mere spectator in very many crises and disasters, the energy it is suddenly displaying when the addressee is the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus should give us pause for thought.”

Sedat Ergin
Cyprus Mail (CY) /

An untenable state of affairs

Now more than ever, a solution to the Cyprus problem is needed, the Cyprus Mail stresses:

“Was it a bad miscalculation or was this meant as a message to the Greek Cypriot side of what to expect in the absence of a settlement? Probably both, and this underlined the assertion made repeatedly by President Nikos Christodoulides that the maintenance of the status quo was not a viable option. If Unficyp is withdrawn in a year or two, who would protect the buffer zone and who would stop the Turks if they decided to move their troops into it? The status quo’s permanence is guaranteed by nobody.”