UN closely monitoring Varosha issue

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he is closely monitoring threats to re-open fenced-off Varosha by the Turkish side but wants to help in the resumption of Cyprus reunification talks.

He sent a letter Nicos Anastasiades saying the UN is closely monitoring the issue of the ‘ghost town’ in the Turkish occupied north of the island.

Guterres was replying to correspondence from Anastasiades about the Varosha issue.

According to a written statement by Deputy Government Spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas, the UN SG sent a letter to the Cypriot President on the 27th of August as a reply to President Anastasiades` letters and following the telephone conversation they held on the 25th of August.

Guterres said he takes the concerns expressed by the President on Varosha seriously, assuring him that he is closely following the developments.

The UN chief recalled that the UN Security Council, in a statement on 9 October 2019, reaffirmed the importance of the regime in Varosha, saying no action should be taken that violates relevant UN SC resolutions.

Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots have said they will open up the fenced-off town of Varosha which has been off-limits since 1974.

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 the area under the control of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus be extended to include Varosha.

Varosha’s legal inhabitants are the Greek Cypriots who fled the Turkish invasion in 1974.