Viewing conflicts through the eye of Counterinsurgency COIN – Since 2007
On a island in the Mediterranean Turks and Greeks have clashed for almost 50 years. The country is now split and talks between the two factions have met resistance from both sides. – Ian Bach
December 15, 2007
The U.N. Security Council renewed on Friday the mandate of the U.N. Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus for another six months through June 15, 2008.
In a resolution adopted unanimously, the Council also noted with concern the lack of progress on “the July 8 process” and called on all parties to immediately engage constructively with the U.N. efforts, and to cease mutual recriminations.
It urged all parties to show flexibility and political will over the coming months to make measurable progress to allow fully fledged negotiations to begin.
On July 8 last year, the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders signed a set of principles and decisions, recognizing that the status quo was unacceptable and that a comprehensive settlement was both desirable and possible.
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From the CIA World Factbook
A former British colony, Cyprus became independent in 1960 following years of resistance to British rule. Tensions between the Greek Cypriot majority and Turkish Cypriot minority came to a head in December 1963, when violence broke out in the capital of Nicosia. Despite the deployment of UN peacekeepers in 1964, sporadic intercommunal violence continued forcing most Turkish Cypriots into enclaves throughout the island. In 1974, a Greek Government-sponsored attempt to seize control of Cyprus was met by military intervention from Turkey, which soon controlled more than a third of the island. In 1983, the Turkish-held area declared itself the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (TRNC), but it is recognized only by Turkey. The latest two-year round of UN-brokered talks – between the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to reach an agreement to reunite the divided island – ended when the Greek Cypriots rejected the UN settlement plan in an April 2004 referendum. The entire island entered the EU on 1 May 2004, although the EU acquis – the body of common rights and obligations – applies only to the areas under direct government control, and is suspended in the areas administered by Turkish Cypriots. However, individual Turkish Cypriots able to document their eligibility for Republic of Cyprus citizenship legally enjoy the same rights accorded to other citizens of European Union states. Nicosia continues to oppose EU efforts to establish direct trade and economic links to north Cyprus as a way of encouraging the Turkish Cypriot community to continue to support reunification.