UN general urges dialogue between Cyprus armies

UNFICYP’s Force Commander, Major General Kristin Lund called on the Greek Cypriot Chief of the National Guard, Lieutenant General Georgios Basiakoulis and the commander of the Turkish Military Forces, Major General Ilyas Bozkurt come together and talk.

UN general urges dialogue between Cyprus armies

UNFICYP’s Force Commander, Major General Kristin Lund she said that it is important for the Greek Cypriot Chief of the National Guard, Lieutenant General Georgios Basiakoulis and the commander of the Turkish Military Forces, Major General Ilyas Bozkurt come together and talk.

In an interview with Emine Davut Yitmen of Kibris Newspaper, she said that they should work for increasing trust among them.

“My personal view is that instead of having messengers among us, it would be better if the commanders talked to each other. This is important”, said Major General Lund.

Lund also added that as it is not possible to change the past events it is now important to look forward. Lund gave Balkans as an example for Cyprus where Croats, Serbs and Bosnians are now working together with UNFICYP to build a future.

“The peace efforts should not be limited with the politicians. People from both communities should join bi-communal events without prejudices” said Lund.

Asked whether she visited the ghost town Maras (Varosha), Lund said: “Going to the fenced off Varosha was deeply saddening. That place remained closed for years. They have to decide what they will do. Going there is very dangerous. Therefore they need a special plan. I do not know whether the buildings will be demolished, new road systems will be built and buildings will be reconstructed. However, first it should be decided who possess what”.

Major General Kristin Lund of Norway officially assumed her duties as Force Commander of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in August, taking over from Major General Chao Liu of China.

As a Brigadier General, she served as Deputy Commander of the Norwegian Army Forces Command from 2007 to 2009. In 2009, she became the first Norwegian female officer promoted to the rank of Major General, and was appointed Chief of Staff of the Norwegian Home Guard. In 2014, she was appointed to the Norwegian Defence Staff as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Veteran Affairs.

Her previous experience with the United Nations includes service with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in Bosnia. Major General Lund has extensive experience in multinational operations, including deployment to Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s SFOR in the Balkans and ISAF Headquarters in Afghanistan.

The island of Cyprus has been divided into the Turkish Cypriot north and Greek Cypriot south since Turkey used its right as a guarantor of peace via a military intervention in July 1974, which was prompted by a coup on the constitutional government by the Greek junta in bid to unite the island with Greece.

Turkish Cypriots in the north of Cyprus later went on to declare the independence of the TRNC in 1983 after almost of decade of failed peace talks. An attempt to reunite the island failed in 2004 when the vast majority of Greek Cypriots rejected a plan proposed by the then-UN secretary general Kofi Annan in a referendum prior to their entry into the European Union.

At the same time, Turkey also does not recognize the Greek Cypriot administration, which makes cooperation between the two government's almost impossible.

 

Last Mod: 07 Ekim 2014, 16:33
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