President Anastasiades said on Sunday he would strive find a solution to the Cyprus problem that would allow people to return to Famagusta and other occupied areas of the island, saying the government would not remain with its “hands tied”.
“Yesterday’s provocative actions of the Turks in the enclosed area of Famagusta are not and will not be accepted,” he said referring to a meeting of Turkish and Turkish Cypriot officials in Varosha on Saturday to discuss reopening it.
He described the meeting and its intent as “unacceptable”, adding that “violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus either on land or in its EEZ is unacceptable”.
Anastasiades said any solution should be based on UN resolutions and the values of the EU.He underlined that such a solution would ensure political equality for Turkish Cypriots.
“We have given written examples of how much we respect our compatriots,” he said, speaking at a ceremony to honour Famagusta Bishop Vasileos for his 60 years of service to the Church. But he warned he would “not accept and tolerate the political inequality that Ankara wants to impose on our country. What we claim is nothing less than the rest of Europeans enjoy.”
Speaking on Saturday night after an extraordinary meeting of the Famagusta council to discuss measures to be taken after the meeting held in Varosha, with the participation of Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay and Turkey’s Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül, Famagusta Mayor Simos Ioannou said if the area is settled it would be “the gravestone of the Cyprus problem”.
The municipal council issued a resolution condemning the “unacceptable actions” of Turkish occupying authorities.
After the meeting, the Municipal Council’s members and MPs marched to the Deryneia crosspoint in a symbolic protest “as an immediate reaction on Turkey’s illegal actions.”
Ioannou said it was unanimously agreed that the main aim will be to avoid the creation of faits-accomplis with the settling of the fenced-off area.
He added that handing Varosha over before the solution of the Cyprus problem would not focus the issue only on Famagusta but would show good will.
‘Foreign minister’ in the north Kudret Ozersay said in August that he would gradually open the city.
In a statement on Sunday Edek said that when the Dherynia checkpoint was opened it had warned that settlement of Famagusta would follow. At the same time it called for the area to be handed back to its legal residents before negotiations were entered into.
Those who invested in the ‘goodwill’ of the occupier have one once again been denied, it added.