President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, expressed hope that intense diplomatic efforts by the Republic of Cyprus will prevent further threats by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during his illegal visit to Turkish-occupied Cyprus on the anniversary of the 1974 Turkish invasion.
In a statement to the Greek newspaper “To Vima”, on Sunday, Anastasiades said that the Cypriot government, in coordination with the Greek government, is exhausting every diplomatic effort “both within the European Union and towards friendly countries, including permanent and non-permanent members of the Security Council” in order to prevent Turkey`s aspirations. In this context, he expressed hope that these diplomatic efforts will prevent new threats by Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his visit to Cyprus on 20 July.
President Anastasiades reiterated the Cypriot government’s political will and determination to work within the parameters of the United Nations and the European Union to find a solution to the Cyprus problem “leading to a federal state with its independence and sovereignty fully full guaranteed, and which will be free of third-party guarantees or occupying troops”. As he noted, such a solution should “ensure the functionality and therefore the viability of the state, always with full respect of the principles and values enshrined in the European acquis and the provisions of the United Nations Charter”.
However, the President of the Republic of Cyprus expressed the view that Turkish behaviour does not give much hope for a solution to be found in the short term.
As he noted, “Turkey`s illegal and unlawful actions manifested in the Exclusive Economic Zone as well as on the ground, highlighted by its claims for a solution beyond and outside the UN resolutions”, as well as “the creation of new faits accomplis by changing the status of the fenced off city of Famagusta, but also through the absolute control it exercises over the Turkish Cypriot community, do not create much room for hope”.
Referring to the upcoming anniversary of the Turkish invasion, Anastasiades noted that forty-seven years later Cyprus is still experiencing “the continued military occupation of 37% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey’s strategy that seeks either the annexation of the occupied territories or a solution on the basis of two independent states through illegal actions and the creation of new faits accomplis against the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus”.
“Both I and my predecessors in the Presidency of the Republic have sought, through painful concessions, to find a solution that would allow the Republic of Cyprus to evolve into a functional and viable state, consistent with the principles of international law and the values of the European Union”, President Anastasiades noted.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and still occupies 37% of the island`s territory.
Numerous UN backed talks to reunite the island have failed to yield results. A 5+1 Informal Meeting that took place in Geneva, on April 27-29, failed to find enough common ground to allow for the resumption of formal negotiations in relation to the settlement of the Cyprus problem.
UN Secretary – General, Antonio Guterres, has said that he will convene in the near future another meeting of the 5+1, the five plus the United Nations, again with the objective to move in the direction of reaching common ground to allow for formal negotiations to start.
Varosha, the fenced off section of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, is often described as a ‘ghost town’.
UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984) considers any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN. UN Security Council resolution 789 (1992) also urges that with a view to the implementation of resolution 550 (1984), the area at present under the control of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus be extended to include Varosha.
On October 8, 2020, the Turkish side opened part of the fenced area of Varosha, following an announcement made in Ankara on October 6. Both the UN Secretary-General and the EU expressed concern, while the UN Security Council called for the reversal of this course of action.