Famagusta Mayor Alexis Galanos and the Turkish Cypriot ‘mayor’ of the occupied town Oktay Kayalp have issued a joint statement expressing their strong support to the immediate commencement of the process of returning the fenced off area of Varosha to its lawful owners and inhabitants, under the supervision and control of the UN.
The statement was read out and signed by Galanos and Kayalp during joint press conference they gave on Tuesday for Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot media.
Famagusta port should be opened to international maritime traffic under the supervision of EU, and the Famagusta walled city should be place under UNESCO watch list for getting registered as one of World’s Heritage Sites, the statement said.
“We believe such a development will create real conditions for economic development for the whole area and island wide by significantly improving the current difficult conditions experienced by both communities,” the statement said.
Galanos and Kayalp also expressed hope that the leaders of the two communities would agree to resume talks on the Cyprus issue without delay. “We look ahead in a reunited Famagusta which will be an example and symbol of a reunited Cyprus,” the joint statement said.
Kayalp said the plan was to redesign their city and bring together all the people of Famagusta to envisage a common future.
Galanos said he agreed with Kayalp and expressed the belief that the joint statement would give an impetus, create prospects and send the message: no to division.
“We are very near to make or break. We want to make,” Galanos said.