UN extends Cyprus peacekeeping force
The UN Security Council has extended the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus through January 2013, and again urged the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot leaders to speed up talks aimed at reunifying the divided Mediterranean island nation Today`s Zaman reported
The council made the move in a resolution adopted 13-0 and with two abstentions - from Azerbaijan and Pakistan, noting that the decades-long Cyprus stalemate has failed to move toward a comprehensive and durable settlement.
The UNFICYP peacekeeping force has been deployed on the island since 1964, to deter eruptions of inter-communal fighting.
Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey intervened after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Turkish Cypriots declared an independent state in the north in 1983, but only Turkey recognizes it and keeps 35,000 troops there.
The UN has been facilitating talks between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leadership, with a view to the eventual establishment of a federal government with a single international identity, consisting of a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, each of equal status.