Cyprus to raise Varosha issue at EU summit

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Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades will raise the issue of Turkey re-opening fenced-off Varosha at the next European Council summit on October 14-15.

Government spokesman Kyriakos Koushos said Wednesday that recourse has already been filed to the UN Security Council with the government making representations to EU institutions.

Asked if Nicosia will pursue sanctions against Turkey at the European Council, Koushos said, “this has not been decided”.

Recourse has already been made to the UN Security Council based on Article 35 of the UN Charter and Cyprus Permanent Representative Andreas Mavroyiannis has contacted the Security Council President.

Koushos said the issue will certainly be discussed at the forthcoming European Council and the President will inform EU leaders about developments regarding Varosha.

“We are in contact through diplomatic channels with the Security Council’s five permanent members.”

Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides on Tuesday had a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, whose country is presiding over the UN Security Council.

“We will spare no effort with a view to hinder Turkey from violating Security Council resolutions and more specifically resolution 550 of 1984 and resolution 789 of 1992.”

“We do not underestimate them (Turkey). This is a change in the status quo. It is a violation of international law and the Security Council resolutions.”

Koushos said re-opening Varosha may be associated with Turkey’s effort to support a certain candidate to be the new leader of the Turkish Cypriot community.

“Our position is clear. We are committed to a process for a Cyprus settlement but not under threats and fait accompli.”

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 UN administration.

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and leader of the Turkish Cypriot coalition Ersin Tatar announced in Ankara the opening of the beach area of Varosha on Thursday.