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UN Security Council to discuss Varosha in closed meeting on Wednesday

The UN Security Council will on Wednesday afternoon New York time, hold a closed meeting for unofficial consultations on Varosha, the fenced-off part of Famagusta.

UN Security Council members are expected to be briefed on the situation and developments in general as regards the Cyprus problem by a senior representative from the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs at 3pm local time or  10pm Cyprus time.

According to the Security Council Reports website members of the Council are likely to “reiterate their support for the previous Council decisions on the status of Varosha and call on both sides to exercise restraint.”

It also notes that some members might use this opportunity to address other issues such as lack of progress on the political front and continued tensions over hydrocarbon resources off the coast of Cyprus.

The website`s note on the matter also refers to the fact that by November 15, the Secretary-General is expected to submit to the Council the report on his Good Offices Mission in Cyprus. “Council members will probably have a broader discussion on Cyprus at that time,” it said.

After the meeting concludes the Security Council`s South African President is expected to make a statement on behalf of the members. Until late in the afternoon Tuesday, the statement`s precise content had not been fully agreed on.

“The Council has pronounced itself on Varosha on several occasions. In resolution 550 of 11 May 1984, the Council stated that it considered inadmissible any efforts to populate Varosha with people other than its inhabitants and called for a transfer of the area to the administration of the UN,” the website notes. “The most recent UNFICYP mandate renewal (S/RES/2483 of 25 July 2019) recalled “the status of Varosha as set out in relevant resolutions”, it adds.

Kudret Ozersay, the Turkish Cypriot ‘foreign minister’ in August arranged a press visit for Turkish Cypriot and Turkish journalists into the fenced-off area for the first time in 45 years and has said that he will gradually open the city. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has also recently made statements to that effect.

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