The Turkish occupation remains a painful reality, emphasized the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, Konstantinos Kombos, in his greeting at an event of the Permanent Mission of Cyprus to the United Nations, at the headquarters of the international organization in New York, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the UN peacekeeping force (UNFICYP) in Cyprus, in 1964.

Mr. Kombos underlined that Cyprus recognizes the vital role of the UN peacekeeping force worldwide.

“UN peacekeepers, around the world, have helped countries navigate this difficult path: from conflict to peace, from instability to resilient security,” he said.

The Foreign Minister of Cyprus emphasized that the Republic of Cyprus, as one of the few UN member states that is both a troop-hosting country and a contributor, can confirm the necessity of maintaining and supporting the UN peacekeeping force. Especially, in view of the constantly evolving challenges.

“Today, the Republic of Cyprus hosts one of the longest-running peacekeeping operations in the world. Members of the Force have served the UN and Cypriots with courage, some giving their lives during their service. Their sacrifice is not forgotten. And the Republic of Cyprus remains grateful. The conflict is not frozen. The Turkish occupation remains a painful reality, a constant violation of Public International Law, a constant reminder that a member state of this Organization faces, on a daily basis, the existential threat from the aggressor,” he noted.

Mr. Kombos underlined the attacks against members of the Peacekeeping Force last August, which the international community condemned in the strongest way, as well as the fact that the recent movements of the occupying forces are manifestations of today’s challenges.

He further noted that “the UN cannot be threatened. Equal distance policy is dangerous. The UN cannot undermine the principles for which servicemen and women have sacrificed their lives. There was an invasion. There is a victim and an attacker. There is a UN member state and an illegal entity, a product of aggression. The middle line is dangerous. And it should not be associated with the UN.”

Konstantinos Kombos also inaugurated a photo exhibition entitled “60 years in the service of peace: a tribute to the peacekeepers of the United Nations Force in Cyprus” which diplomatic missions of UN member countries will have the opportunity to visit.

Immediately after, the Cypriot Foreign Minister met with the Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas, Miroslav Gendzia. The Cypriot Foreign Minister is accompanied in his contacts by the Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN, Ambassador Maria Michael.

During his stay at the United Nations, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus will have a working lunch with the Permanent Representatives of the Members of the Security Council, while later in the afternoon Mr. Kombos will attend an event at the headquarters of the United Nations Organization, regarding the candidacy of Cyprus to the Human Rights Council for the period 2025-2027