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Brussel to act if non-reversal of Turkey’s Varosha move

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Brussels will consider actions at its next meeting if Turkey does not row back its decision to open up Varosha, said the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell.

According to an EU declaration, the European Union “strongly condemns” Turkey’s unilateral steps and the “unacceptable” announcements made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar to further reopen the fenced-off town of Varosha.

“The EU welcomes the UN Security Council’s condemnation and expression of deep regret about the unilateral actions in Varosha that run contrary to the Security Council’s previous resolutions and statements.

“The EU equally calls for the immediate reversal of these actions and the reversal of all steps taken on Varosha since October 2020”, Borrell said.

He said the EU continues to be guided by UN Security Council Resolutions on Varosha, consider attempts to settle any part of the town by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible.

“No actions should be carried out in relation to Varosha that are not in accordance with those Resolutions.

“Full respect for and implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions also require an immediate end to restrictions imposed on the freedom of movement of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in the Varosha area.

“The EU continues to hold the Government of Turkey responsible for the situation in Varosha,” said Borrell.

Also, the EU underlines the need to avoid unilateral actions in breach of international law and renewed provocations, which could raise tensions on the island and compromise efforts to resume peace talks.

“It is crucial that Turkey commits and contributes constructively to the resumption of negotiations for a comprehensive settlement, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.

“Ministers will consider actions at their next meeting, in case of non-reversal of Turkey’s actions contrary to UN Security Council Resolutions 550/84 and 789/92…to use the instruments and options at its disposal to defend its interests and those of its Member States, as well as to uphold regional stability”, the EU declaration concludes.

Tatar announced on Tuesday a partial lifting of the military status in the abandoned ghost town.

On October 8, 2020, the Turkish side opened part of the fenced area of Varosha for the first time since the 1974 Turkish invasion. (source CNA)