Ambassador DiCarlo: I’d like to just give you a few points on this morning’s consultations on UNFICYP, on Cyprus. We received a briefing from Special Representative Lisa Buttenheim on the situation in Cyprus and UNFICYP’s efforts to maintain stability, address humanitarian issues, and foster bi-communal contacts and cooperation.
Council members expressed appreciation for the work of UNFICYP to preserve a calm atmosphere and help build confidence between the sides and made clear the need for the sides to respect UNFICYP’s authority in the buffer zone. Council members also thanked UNFICYP for efforts to achieve a lasting peace in Cyprus and encouraged UNFICYP to continue its contingency planning in anticipation of settlement talks in the fall.
Special Representative Buttenheim emphasized a need for opposing sides to desist from challenging UNFICYP’s authority and to control unauthorized civilian activity in the buffer zone. She also noted persistent concerns with a lack of access to mined areas and occasional restrictions on the movement of UN personnel.
The members of the Council have been encouraged by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders’ stated commitments to resume the negotiation process and we hope that both sides will constructively prepare for settlement talks to resume.
Just wanted to make a couple of points on this weekend’s attack on UNAMID, which resulted in the death of seven peacekeepers and the injury of 17 others. In my national capacity, let me just say that the United States condemns this attack in the strongest possible terms. We express our condolences to the nations and families of the victims, and we call for the Government of Sudan to swiftly investigate the incident and bring perpetrators to justice.
We remain increasingly concerned about the deteriorating security situation and in particular the series of recent attacks on UNAMID in South Darfur. As you know, the Council released a press statement yesterday condemning the attack, and we will be receiving a briefing from DPKO on the attack later this afternoon. With that I’m happy to take a few questions.
Reporter: Thanks. I wanted to ask you about something coming up this afternoon. You are supposed to discuss the Iran sanctions report, and I understand that there’s some disagreement about whether, as the panel of experts has said, the missile test by Iran should be considered a violation of UN Security Council sanctions. Has this issue been resolved? Maybe, give some details.
Ambassador DiCarlo: Yeah, thanks, Lou. Well, let me just say that we’re disappointed that the 1737 Committee was unable in this case to state the obvious. There is nothing ambiguous about the ban imposed by the Security Council on such missile attacks—missile launches. Most of the Security Council members agree with us on this issue. Unfortunately, you will see that the report indicates that a few countries disagree. The United States intends to continue raising this issue in the future, and make clear that it is a violation, and that Iran needs to be held to account for it.
Reporter: Yes, Ambassador, on Darfur asking Sudan to investigate probably won’t come up with an answer. Do you have any information, so far, the SLA or the rebels say that it was militia allied with the government, the government says it was militia allied with the rebels, and, you know, somebody has to know which one it is, and it won’t be the Sudan government.
Ambassador DiCarlo: Thanks, Evelyn. We will hear this afternoon from DPKO, and we should get fairly thorough information of what they believe transpired. Obviously, it’s our view that those who are responsible have to be held accountable, and it is the responsibility of the government of Sudan, so we will continue to call upon them to investigate and to hold perpetrators accountable.
Reporter: On the two topics of this morning, first of all you referred to water resources. Was there any discussion of this dam dispute between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan? Seems to be like a big issue in the region, and I don’t know what UNRCCA’s role is in trying to resolve it. And the other one is on Cyprus, it’s said that Alexander Downer, the Good Offices envoy, has announced that he’s running for office, or at least for political party, the South Australian Liberal Party, he wants to be the president of it. Can he still remain a UN envoy while having this political role?
Ambassador DiCarlo: Well, I think you are going to have to ask Mr. Downer about his interest here in doing something in political activity. I just don’t have any information on that. I’m sorry. Obviously, on the issue of water, one of the roles of this office is to bring the countries together to help resolve issues on this matter. And of course, it’s something that is done sort of region wide, not necessarily between the two countries. Thanks.
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