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Turkey slams UN statement on Cyprus unrest

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Turkey on Tuesday angrily denounced a United Nations Security Council statement blaming the latest unrest on the divided island of Cyprus on the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), Agence France-Presse reported.

The 15-member council’s statement “is completely divorced from the realities on the ground. Rather than making any positive contribution to the issue, the statement makes the process more difficult,” the Turkish foreign ministry said.

The United Nations accuses Turkish Cypriot forces of attacking peacekeepers who were attempting to block the construction of a road in the buffer zone separating the divided east Mediterranean island.

The confrontation occurred in an ethnically mixed village in the UN-patrolled area between the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus in the south and the KKTC.

The KKTC is recognized internationally only by Turkey.

Both sides agree that four members of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) were injured in the incident.

The UN statement warned that “attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute crimes under international law.”

But Ankara accused the peacekeepers of provoking the Turkish Cypriot security personnel.

“The notification regarding the road work was made well in advance. This being the case, the physical intervention by soldiers of the UNFICYP in the road construction work was the cause of the tension,” the Turkish statement said.

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