The government has been making representations to the UN, the EU and towards other directions with a view to avert plans by the Turkish side with regard to the fenced-off city of Famagusta (Varosha) which are absolutely contrary to the UN Security Council decisions, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou has said.
Invited to comment statements by the “prime minister” of the Turkish Cypriot regime on Varosha and asked if steps are being taken to prevent moves that will create a new fait accompli, Prodromou replied in the affirmative, noting that apart from the letter that Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has sent to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on this issue, the government has been making representations particularly to the UN, but also to the EU and towards other directions.
Furthermore he noted that the UN knows that with its plans on Varosha the other side is blatantly violating convergences reached during the UN Conference on Cyprus, and more particularly through the map with the territorial adjustments proposals that was submitted by the Turkish Cypriot side.
Prodromou said that in his letter to Guterres, the President “makes clear and underlines, among others, that instead of moving on with Confidence Building Measures, as the UNSG himself urged the sides to do, the Turkish side launches threats about Famagusta and seems that it is trying to implement its plan B on Cyprus, for which the President has also informed the UN.
The spokesman said that in order to avert these plans, the President has also expressed his readiness for the resumption of the talks on the Cyprus problem, underlining that he has asked the UN to act towards this direction as well, given the fact that the UNSG undertook almost a year ago an initiative aiming at the resumption of the negotiations.
Asked if the Republic of Cyprus intends to raise this issue before the UNSC permanent five, Prodromou said that the Foreign Minister, the diplomatic service and Cyprus Permanent Representation at the UN are making the necessary representations, making use of the diplomatic means at their disposal.
Invited to say if the government expects that the UNSG will touch upon the issue of Varosha in his forthcoming report on the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), the spokesman said that they are expecting to see the draft report. He also noted that a meeting that President Anastasiades was going to have in the coming days with UNSG’s Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar will be rescheduled, as Anastasiades is still recovering following surgery on Saturday, to repair a fractured hip.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
Varosha is the fenced off section of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, often described as ‘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.
Efforts over the years for the legitimate citizens of Famagusta to return to the city have met with the refusal of the Turkish side, despite numerous decisions and resolutions by the UN, EU and other international institutions.
(Cyprus News Agency)