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Cyprus’ frozen conflict, often referred to by researchers and scholars as the “Cyprus problem”, has a complex history of stalemate and protracted negotiations since the intercommunal clashes of 1963-64.

Cyprus is a unique case in international relations and peace operations. Cyprus is the only country in the world to have “Guarantors” with a right to intervene and station troops on a permanent basis. Cyprus’ frozen conflict, often referred to by researchers and scholars as the “Cyprus problem”, has a complex history of stalemate and protracted negotiations since the intercommunal clashes of 1963-64. Since then, the UN has been actively involved in Cyprus with the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and a mediator in the form of aSpecial Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus (SASG), also known as the Mission of Good Offices, both created by Resolution 186 of 4 March 1964. UNFICYP is one of the peacekeeping operations created during the Cold War which continues to operate, and one of the few evolving alongside a peacemaking mission.

This history does not start at the same time for the two sides. It begins with the inter-ethnic events of 1963-1964 for the Turkish Cypriots, who cannot forget the violence and humiliation they suffered at the time. For the Greek Cypriots, it begins in July 1974, with the trauma of the Turkish intervention and the flight which followed. The Turkish intervention in 1974 de facto partitioned the island between a legally and internationally recognised country (except for Turkey), the Republic of Cyprus (RoC), and an illegal entity (“Northern Cyprus” or “the north”, also called “occupied areas” by the RoC). From then on, both parts of Cyprus developed as economically, politically and culturally separate, which has continued despite the progressive opening of crossing points along the “Green Line” since 2003. These differences each constitute stumbling blocks on the path to a settlement of this conflict.On this page, you will find the 2021 EPON study of UNFICYP and the Good Offices Mission.

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