Cyprus at the United Nations

The United Nations, being directly involved in the Cyprus problem and concerned about the Turkish threat to Cyprus' sovereignty and independence, passed a resolution on 18 December 1965 which, inter alia, said:
The General Assembly:
Takes cognizance of the fact that the Republic of Cyprus, as an equal member of the United Nations, is, in accordance with the Charter, entitled to and should enjoy full sovereignty and complete independence without any foreign intervention or interference; Calls upon all states, in conformity with their obligations under the Charter, and in particular article 2, paragraphs 1 and 4, to respect the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus and to refrain from any intervention directed against it;
Recommends to the Security Council the continuation of the United Nations mediation work in conformity with Council resolution 186 (1964) of 4 March 1964. In June 1968, following recommendations by the U.N. Secretary-General, talks started between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, but as the Turkish aim was the promotion of the island's partition no progress was achieved. The holding of the talks had become possible on account mainly of the unilateral normalisation measures taken by the Government in 1968 in spite of the fact that innocent Greek Cypriots (including 4 monks) had been murdered by T.M.T. terrorists in 1967, and that a so-called Turkish Cypriot provisional administration had been set up that year in order to promote partition or the creation of a separate state. The Government lifted all restrictions and abolished all checkpoints, which had been set up following the 1963/1964 clashes. In this way the Turkish Cypriots were completely free to circulate in all parts of the island. But the T.M.T. leadership did not respond to these measures. Moreover, Greek Cypriots were prohibited from entering certain areas and obstacles were continuously created in the way of cooperation between the whole population of Cyprus.
Meanwhile the inter-communal talks continued on the understanding that the two sides would try to find a settlement based on a unitary, independent and sovereign state. This was also stressed by the U.N. Secretary - General and it was repeatedly declared at U.N. sessions.
The sequence of events, however, proved that while at the beginning Turkey seemed to agree to the principle of an independent, sovereign and unitary state, she had all the time been working and preparing plans for the partition of the island and was waiting for the opportune moment.
Turkey's intentions came into the open in February 1974, when following a long Government crisis after the general elections in the autumn, the Turkish Coalition Government of the Republican People's Party with the National Salvation Party, under Premier Bulent Ecevit, signed a protocol in which it declared that only federation could be accepted in Cyprus. Following this official statement, which ruined all prospects for a settlement in accordance with previously accepted principles, Turkey set the invasion machine in motion.


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Giorgos Zacharia ( 1995-1999.