Varosha is lost without Cyprus peace process

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Famagusta Mayor Simos Ioannou has warned that fenced-off Varosha will be lost without the resumption of UN-backed Cyprus peace talks.

Speaking during a rally held at Dherynia checkpoint to condemn the opening on Thursday of part of Varosha’s beachfront, Ioannou said: “We must continue our actions and remain united.”

“A people that is not united, especially the people of Famagusta, then we will lose this part that we have left,” said Ioannou.

He said one of the reasons for partially re-opening Varosha was to change the dynamics of the Cyprus problem making any resumption of stalled talks difficult.

“Without talks, we will lose Famagusta,” said Ioannou.

He also expects President Nicos Anastasiades to exert more pressure on the EU leaders to achieve the return of Varosha to its lawful residents.

Ioannou said that Famagusta Municipality is ready to discuss ways to help stop this “dreadful development”, adding that larger demonstrations may be organized in the future.

Among the hundreds who attended the rally was attended among others by government spokesman Kyriakos Koushos, DISY President Averof Neofytou, AKEL General Secretary Andros Kyprianou, MPs and other Mayors.

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.

The UN Security Council will hold deliberations on Friday, during a closed session, to review a request filed by Cyprus to address the opening of the beachfront of Varosha.

Security Council members will be briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo – who is going to attend the session – as well as by Elizabeth Spehar, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus, via videoconference.

After the session, the President of the Security Council, Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, is expected to read a statement, agreed unanimously by all Security Council members.

Cyprus prefers that the statement is not limited to reaffirming existing resolutions and to condemning the Turkish decision but to ask Ankara to recall the decision and reverse the action taken so far.