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Cyprus Divided Island

Security Council to discuss Varosha on Wednesday

Inside the ghost town of Varosha

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is expected to discuss Cyprus’ appeal concerning plans by Turkey for the settlement of the closed-off town of Varosha on Wednesday, reports said on Saturday.

Citing a well-informed sources, the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported that the discussion will be held in a UNSC closed session.

The same sources told CNA that following the discussions, the representative of South Africa, who holds the UNSC presidency, will issue a written statement on behalf of the council, which will reaffirm the relevant UNSC resolutions on the matter. According to the same sources a written statement requires unanimity among the 15-member body.

Varosha is the fenced off section of Famagusta, 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.

Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots said recently they were planning on opening the area, which has remained a forbidden military zone since August 1974 when its Greek Cypriot population fled.

On October 1, Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN Andreas Mavroyiannis filed a request on behalf of the government for the Security Council to discuss the matter during a closed session.

Mavroyiannis also sent letters to the President of the UN General Assembly and the President of the Security Council detailing Turkish threats to settle Varosha. The letters are expected to circulate as official UN documents.

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