Washington, Jan 25 (IBNS) The Security Council on Thursday extended the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) until 31 July 2013, while urging the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to continue discussions aimed at reunifying the divided Mediterranean island nation.
In a resolution adopted by a vote of 14 in favour, with Azerbaijan abstaining, the 15-member body acknowledged the progress made so far in fully-fledged negotiations, but noted that this has not been sufficient and has not yet resulted in a comprehensive and durable settlement.
UNFICYP has been deployed on the island since 1964, when inter-communal fighting erupted.
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 personality, consisting of a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, each of equal status.
In Thursday's resolution, the Council also called on both sides to continue engaging with UNFICYP on the demarcation of a buffer zone and to increase the participation of civil society organizations in the negotiation process when appropriate.