EU blasts Erdogan over Cyprus reunification

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Brussels said it was ready to play an active role in Cyprus reunification under a federal roof after Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a “two-state” solution.

The EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said that statements made by Erdogan and the opening of the ghost town of Varosha after 46 years “will cause greater distrust and tension in the region”.

He also called for Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots to reverse their decision to open up the abandoned Greek Cypriot resort of Varosha.

Borrell made the comments after Erdogan visited the occupied north of Cyprus on Sunday and suggested Varosha would be redeveloped after going to the abandoned resort.

“Today’s developments in Varosha come at a time when attempts to create space for dialogue are ongoing, and the speedy resumption of negotiations…is needed on the basis of progress achieved so far”.

“The European Union stands ready to play an active role in supporting these negotiations and finding lasting solutions,” Borrell said in a statement.

“The EU is fully committed to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, and to reunification based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality.

“The EU has reaffirmed the importance of the status of Varosha, as set out in relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, in particular Resolutions 550 (1984) and 789 (1992). No actions should be carried that are not in accordance with these resolutions.”

Borrell made clear “there is no alternative to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem other than on the basis of relevant UN Security Council Resolutions”.

“We deplore today’s actions regarding the opening of the fenced-off area of Varosha and statements contradicting the UN principles for a settlement of the Cyprus question.

They will cause greater distrust and tension in the region and should be urgently reversed”.

He said it was is in the EU’s strategic interest for a stable and secure environment in the Eastern Mediterranean with mutually beneficial relationships among all partners in the region.