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    The United Nations Security Council vote on Saturday (13 December) to extend the mandate of the U.

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    The United Nations Security Council vote on Saturday (13 December) to extend the mandate of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Cyprus for another six months.

    The decision came just two days before the old mandate was due to expire and followed an announcement by Secretary-General Dr. Kurt Waldheim that both the Turkish-Cypriot and Greek-Cypriot authorities on the island had agreed to the extension.

    The Council's resolution also re-affirmed a number of earlier decisions concerning Cyprus, including the endorsement of a General Assembly call for the speedy withdrawal of all foreign troops from the island and an end to foreign intervention in the republic's affairs.

    Doubts had been raised for some days before the vote over whether the Turkish-Cypriot side would agree to the mandate's extension. This followed a demand by Mr. Rauf Denktash, the Turkish-Cypriot leader, that the United Nations negotiate separately for troop deployment within the Turkish-Cypriot sector of the island. A document on this issue was signed in the Cypriot capital, Nicosia by Mr. Denktash and Lieutenant-General Prem Chand, acting commander of the U.N. force on the island, on Friday.

    Mr. Vedat Celek, Turksih-Cypriot representative at the United Nations, told the Security Council following the vote that this separate agreement has been essential politically and legally. He said it established equal status for the Turkish-Cypriot community....a statement strongly challenged by the Greek ambassador, Mr. George Papoulias.

    It is now expected that talks between Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot delegates will begin against under the auspices of the U.N. Secretary-General early next year. Discussions on a settlement of the island,s problems have been in abeyance since a fruitless fourth round of talks was held in New York last August.

    SYNOPSIS: The United Nations Security Council agreed on Saturday on extent the peacekeeping force mandate in Cyprus. Council President, Mr. Ivor Richard of Britain, called the vote:
    It has been uncertain for some days whether Turkish-Cypriot leaders would accept the six-month extension, following demands for separate negotiations on U.N. troop deployment in the Turkish controlled sector. Agreement came on Friday, cementing the Security Council vote, and then prompting Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim to hope for an early settlement.

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