United Nations.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis/CNA
The UN Security Council has expressed its deep concern regarding the announcement in Ankara on 6 October to open the coastline of Varosha and has called for the reversal of this course of action, and for the avoidance of any unilateral actions that could raise tensions on the island.
The Council was briefed on Friday during a closed session, via a teleconference, by the UNSG’s Special Representative in Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar, about the situation with regard to the fenced off city of Famagusta (Varosha) after the Turkish side opened on Friday part of Varosha’s coastal front in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
Following the briefing the Security Council held an open meeting during which a statement read out by the President of the Security Council, Vasily Nebenzya. According to the presidential statement, “the Security Council reaffirms the status of Varosha as set out in previous United Nations Security Council resolutions, including resolution 550 (1984) and resolution 789 (1992). The Security Council reiterates that no actions should be carried out in relation to Varosha that are not in accordance with those resolutions.”
It adds that “the Security Council expresses its deep concern regarding the announcement in Ankara on 6 October to open the coastline of Varosha and calls for the reversal of this course of action, and for the avoidance of any unilateral actions that could raise tensions on the island.”
According to the statement, the Security Council stresses the importance of full respect and implementation of its resolutions.
“The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to an enduring, comprehensive and just settlement in accordance with the wishes of the Cypriot people, and based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as set out in relevant Security Council resolutions. In this regard, the Security Council calls on the Cypriot sides and the Guarantor Powers to engage in dialogue constructively and with a sense of urgency following the electoral process in the Turkish Cypriot community,” the statement adds.
Moreover, the Security Council reiterates its support for the Secretary-General and his intention to convene a meeting as agreed between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders in their meeting with the Secretary-General in November 2019.
The Security Council shall remain seized of the matter, the statement concludes.
Cyprus’ Permanent Representative in the UN, Andreas Mavroyiannis, said in a statement to the press at the stakeout said that the government of Cyprus welcomes the presidential statement adopted by the Security Council as a result of our recourse concerning the opening by the occupation authorities of the fenced area of Varosha.
“The actions taking place are very serious; they create very important new faits accomplis and they render the prospects for the settlement of the Cyprus problem very, very difficult to achieve. We are very grateful to the Council as an organ and to all members of the Security Council for their support and understanding and for their expression of very deep concern and for asking for the reversal of all those actions that are taking place on the ground,” Mavroyiannis noted.
He added that “we’ll continue working for the continuation of the negotiations for the settlement of the Cyprus problem and in order to make sure that all Cypriots will be able to live in a united country. We appeal to the occupation authorities, to Turkey in particular, to stop and recede all kinds of actions that destroy the prospects of a negotiated settlement,” he concluded.
Cyprus Foreign Minister, Nikos Christodoulides, had on Friday telephone conversation the Foreign Ministers of the United Kingdome, the Russian Federation and France. On his phone call with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, a CNa report says that he briefed him about the opening by the Turkish side of part of the coastal front of the fenced off city of Famagusta (Varosha).
Moreover, CNA has learned, Christodoulides briefed Le Drian about the new illegal Turkish NAVTEX for seismic research by Turkish vessel “Barbaros” in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone from October 10 until November 9.
Le Drian was informed in view of the discussion later on Friday at the UN Security Council on the issue of Famagusta, as well as the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council that will take place on Monday in Luxembourg.
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. UN Security Council resolution 789 (1992) also urges that with a view to the implementation of resolution 550 (1984), the area at present under the control of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus be extended to include Varosha.
The Turkish foreign ministry said a decision to open part of the fenced town of Varosha did not violate UN resolutions after the UN Security Council (UNSC) early on Saturday called for its reversal.
“The decision announced by the Turkish Cypriot authorities on the fenced city of Maraş [Varosha], territory of the TRNC, does not cause any grievance in the area which is opened for visits. The status of the region remains unchanged. Therefore, the claim that the decision violates the UN Security Council resolutions does not reflect the reality,” the ministry said.
It urged the international community to “take into account the realities on the island, not the misleading propaganda of the Greek Cypriot administration and consider the developments without any prejudice.”
GREEK CYPRIOT PARTIES
“Cyprus Mail” reported on the reactions of the Greek Cypriot political parties.
Ruling Disy welcomed the UNSC statement reaffirming the resolutions on Varosha.
“This statement by the Security Council should be taken into consideration and enforced by the sole culprit which is none other than Turkey,” Disy said.
Main opposition Akel expressed satisfaction over the statement, especially the reaffirmation of the UNSC’s pledge for a comprehensive and fair arrangement based on a bicommunal federation as well as the call to a constructive dialogue as a matter of urgency.
But Edek said reaffirming the resolutions was not enough and if the UNSC wanted to contribute decisively and effectively it would adopt procedures of implementing the resolutions in the event of non-compliance.
Diko said the statement was a positive step in the right direction but at the same time it called on the government to seek sanctions against Turkey at an EU level.