The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus was sent over to the strife-torn island in 1964 to be deployed for a year but marked its 50th anniversary yesterday.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: “Over the past 50 years, UNFICYP has played a crucial role in preventing a recurrence of fighting and contributing to the resolution of issues that affect the everyday lives of Cypriots across the island.”
He added: “I am confident that this fiftieth anniversary will provide much needed impetus to the ongoing negotiations for a comprehensive settlement of the long-lasting Cyprus problem.”
The Secretary General also expressed his gratitude to the 32
countries that have contributed either troops or police or both to UNFICYP over the years.
And Ban paid tribute to the 184 peacekeepers that lost their lives in support of peace in Cyprus.
At the same time, President Anastasiades said that UNFICYP’s presence in Cyprus confirms the substantial assistance the United Nations provides to the divided island and its people.