The UNSC members said that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute crimes under international law and reaffirmed their full commitment to the safety and security of all UN personnel.
On Friday, the United Nations Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) confirmed the attack in the buffer zone dividing the eastern Mediterranean island.
The incident took place inside the buffer zone near Pyla, a village near the southeastern coast of Cyprus that is inhabited by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
Cyprus: The moment of attack by Turkish Cypriots with bulldozers against UN forces⚠️ According to an announcement by the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), the incidents took place within the buffer zone near Pyla as UN peacekeepers obstructed unauthorized construction… pic.twitter.com/zT1o9Pf2IJ
The UNFICYP said peacekeepers were on a mission to "block unauthorized construction work in the area" after the Turkish Cypriot administration announced its plan to construct an 11 km long road between Pyla and another village located in the Turkish-controlled Cypriot area.
The UNSC members expressed "serious concern" at the launch of unauthorized construction work by the Turkish Cypriot side, stressing that the action runs contrary to Security Council resolutions and constitutes a violation of the status quo in the UN buffer zone.
They welcomed the halt in unauthorized construction by the Turkish Cypriot side and the removal of equipment and personnel, and underscored the need "to avoid any further unilateral or escalatory actions by either party that could raise tensions on the island and harm prospects for a settlement."
Turkish President Erdogan:
- UN peacekeeping force's intervention in Northern Cyprus road construction is unacceptable - Türkiye will not let unlawful acts on Cyprus - Preventing Turkish Cypriots living in Pile from reaching their homeland is neither legal nor humane pic.twitter.com/NRAOiRxCDb
The UNSC members reaffirmed their commitment to an enduring, comprehensive and just settlement in accordance with the wishes of the Cypriot people, and based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as set out in relevant Security Council resolutions.
They reaffirmed their full support for UNFICYP and its mandated authority in and delineation of the buffer zone, and called for the removal of all unauthorized constructions and the prevention of unauthorized military or civilian activities within and along the ceasefire lines.
UNFICYP has been in control of the buffer zone since it was demarcated under UN Security Council resolutions after a Turkish military operation against Cyprus in 1974.