Peace & Stability Journal Volume 7, Issue 1 - Page 17

The United Nations (U.N.) Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, known as UNFICYP, began operations in 1964 in response to a constitutional crisis that threatened to escalate into a civil war between ethnic Greek Cypriots and their ethnic Turkish compatriots on the island. 1 As of this writing, UNFICYP remains in place, making it the third-longest peace operation in U.N. history. 2 However, the approach of UNFICYP’s 50th anniversary coincides with substantial changes to the geopolit- ical environment in the Eastern Mediterranean region, as well as the emergence of a new generation of leaders on both sides of the divided island who appear willing to lead their respective communities toward a common future. As a new round of peace talks between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot negoti- ators enters a critical phase, hopes for a resolution to the Cyprus problem appear brighter than they have in decades. 3 In this context, the marathon peace process in Cyprus provides much needed validation for the U.N.’s tireless and expanding peace operations efforts, as well as valuable lessons for United States (U.S.) policy makers and military planners in their approach to current and future conflicts. public of Cyprus as “a bi-communal state with equitable repre- sentation of the two prominent communities.” 8 A set of three treaties among Great Britain, Greece and Turkey complemented and attempted to strengthen this bi-communal constitution- al arrangement. These agreements had four objectives: they prevented a political union between Great Briton and either Greece or Turkey; they maintained several military installat