A request from Nicosia asking the UN to renew its peacekeeping mandate on the divided island has sparked a response from Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci.
It is reported that Akinci, who recently received a visit from newly re-elected Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called for review of UN troop levels.
In a letter sent to the UN Security Council, Akinci said “although the presence of UNFICYP has contributed to the stability on our island through its initial mandate after more than half a century of its operation in Cyprus, it is imperative for the United Nations Security Council to seriously reconsider and evaluate the mandate of this mission in the light of fundamental changes in the circumstances, such as the opening of crossing points between the two sides and the like”.
Thousands of Turkish troops remain on the island following Ankara’s 1974 invasion. Repeated attempts at a solution to reunify the island have failed so far.