President vows to prevent Turkish plans for Varosha

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President Nicos Anastasiades assured he would do everything possible to prevent Turkey’s plans to reopen the ghost-town of Varosha fenced-off since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

Briefing the Municipal Council of Famagusta, the President said he would convene the National Council in the coming days to discussing the course of action ahead of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visiting Varosha on 20 July.

“The President assured he would continue to do his utmost to prevent Turkey’s illegal actions aiming to create a new fait acompli and to resume a creative dialogue for the solution of the Cyprus problem based on the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council,” a statement from the Presidency said.

Anastasiades briefed Famagusta councillors in detail on contacts with the international community to protect the once-thriving resort of Varosha that was fenced off by the Turkish army.

He also outlined the measures already taken by the government and the actions to be taken to tackle “Turkish threats and avert Turkey’s plans and any undesirable and illegal actions” on Varosha.

Cyprus Attorney-General George Savvides also attended the meeting and assured them they consider all measures according to international law.

Simos Ioannou, Mayor of Famagusta, said the government should be ready to respond to any possible announcements the Turkish President make during his visit to Varosha this month.

“If the fenced-off city of Famagusta is lost, this would constitute the tombstone of the Cyprus problem.”

Because, he said, the territory is one of the most fundamental criteria of the Cyprus issue.

“If this part is lost, there will be insurmountable problems and possibly (will mark) the end of the Cyprus problem.”

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 resolutions urge that the area under the control of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus be extended to include Varosha.

Last October, the Turkish side opened a section of Varosha to the public for the first time in 46 years.

The UN, Washington and Brussels called on Turkey to reverse this course of action.