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Cyprus: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 487: debated on Monday 9 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which officer is in command of the Turkish army in northern Cyprus; what assessment he has made of that officer’s (a) peacekeeping in that role and (b) peacekeeping record; and if he will make a statement. (251616)

The commander of the Turkish army in north Cyprus is Lieutenant-General Hilmi Akin Zorlu. He has served in a wide variety of assignments during his career, including as commander of the international security assistance force in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2003. In the UN Secretary-General’s latest report on Cyprus, he reported that the situation in the buffer zone remained calm and stable and that the opposing forces extended in general good co-operation to the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). He also commended the cancellation by both sides of their annual military exercises. The UK welcomes such steps and would encourage further such confidence building measures.