President of EC says Turkish illegal actions in Varosha must be revoked

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has asked for the revocation of all illegal Turkish actions in the fenced – off area of Varosha, stressing the EU’s support for the UN Security Council resolutions on the status of Varosha.

According to a written statement by Government Spokesman, Marios Pelekanos, in her reply letter to the President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, the President of the European Commission, shares President Anastasiades’ strong concerns regarding Turkey’s illegal actions in Varosha.

She reiterates the EU’s condemnation of the Turkish side’s decision to open the closed city of Varosha and the extension of its coastal front and asks that all illegal Turkish actions in Varosha from October 2020 are revoked.

In addition, she reaffirms the EU’s support for the UN Security Council resolutions on the status of Varosha, underlining that any attempt to settle any part of the area by persons other than its legitimate residents would be unacceptable. Furthermore, she requests the transfer of this area to the UN administration.

The President of the European Commission underlines the need for all those involved to contribute to the effort for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue, including its external aspects, on the basis of the agreed UN framework, as well as the European acquis communautaire and the EU values. The letter states that the European Commission will continue its efforts for the creation of a climate that will favor the resumption of negotiations.

She reiterates the European Commission’s support for the Confidence Building Measures proposed by the President of the Republic, which, among other, would be helpful in restoring the trust between the two communities and would facilitate efforts to return to the negotiating table, with the aim of reaching a solution of the Cyprus issue on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions.

The Commission’s President expresses hope that the Turkish Cypriot side will respond constructively to the proposed Confidence Building Measures, the Government Spokesman’s written statement says.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. 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.

The Turkish Cypriot leadership announced in July 2021 a partial lifting of the military status in Varosha. A few months earlier, on October 8, 2020, the Turkish side opened part of the fenced area of Varosha, following an announcement made in Ankara on October 6. The UN Security Council called for the reversal of this course of action, while the UN Secretary General, in his latest report on his mission of good offices in Cyprus, reiterated his concern over developments in the fenced-off area, noting that the position of the UN on Varosha remains unchanged. The EU also expressed grave concern.


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