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UN Security Council Slams Turkey on Varosha Plans in Cyprus

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The UN Security Council – Public Domain

The Security Council of the United Nations (UN) issued a strong statement against Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot regime on Friday in regard to the recent announcements about Varosha in Cyprus.

The statement of the UN was issued after an open session of the Security Council which condemned the statements that had been made “by Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leaders.”

The presidential statement of the UN says that the Security Council condemns ”the 20 July announcement by Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leaders on the further reopening of a part of the fenced-off Varosha area in Cyprus, calling for the immediate reversal of that course of action and for the reversal of all steps taken on Varosha since October 2020”

The document, titled S/PRST/2021/13, was presented by France, Council President for July.

There, the 15-member group reiterated that ”any attempt to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants is inadmissible.”

It also expressed its regret over those unilateral actions that run contrary to previous Council resolutions and statements.

The Council went on to stress ”the importance of full respect and implementation for its resolutions, including the transfer of Varosha to United Nations administration, and of respect for freedom of movement for the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).”

Additionally, the Security Council reaffirmed 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 Council resolutions.”

Apart from UN, the US and EU condemned Turkey’s decision for Cyprus

The United States sent a stern warning to Turkey on the anniversary of the invasion of Cyprus in 1974 last week, saying it stands opposed to any unilateral decision to open Varosha, which was established as a no-man’s land by UN decree.

Turkey is planning to reopen the former seaside resort to tourists in direct violation of the UN’s restrictions on the area, which is on the border of occupied northern Cyprus.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the decision to open Varosha.

In a tweet late on Tuesday he said: “We condemn the decision to have Turkish Cypriots take control over parts of Varosha, which is inconsistent with UN resolutions, unacceptable, and incompatible with past commitments to resume settlement talks. We urge a reversal of this decision and steps taken since Oct. 2020.”

Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union, stood firmly in support of Cyprus, calling the reopening of Varosha an “unacceptable unilateral decision.”

He also reiterated the fact that members of the EU must comply with the resolutions regarding Varosha, and that  “No actions should be carried out in relation to Varosha that are not in accordance with those Resolutions. The EU continues to hold the government of Turkey responsible for the situation in Varosha.”

“The EU once again underlines the need to avoid unilateral actions in breach of international law and renewed provocations, which could raise tensions on the island and compromise a return to talks ona comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue in line with UN Security Council Resolutions,” said Borrell.

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