President Nicos Anastasiades has warned the Republic would veto EU financial assistance to Turkish Cypriots and funds to Turkey if Ankara opened Varosha for settlement.
In an interview with Euronews on Friday, Anastasiades said he has told his EU partners that he would object to the continuation of financial assistance to Turkish Cypriots and to Turkey, as a candidate for accession, if Ankara opened Varosha, in the district of Famagusta.
“If they attempt settlement of Famagusta, in such a case they should be immediately terminated,” he said of the funds. “Of course, there is still a long way until it is decided but I am certain there is no other option but to adopt such a proposal, which does not hurt anyone who respects international law.”
The EU aid programme for the Turkish Cypriot community aims to facilitate the reunification of the island by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community, mainly by promoting social and economic development, the development and refurbishment of infrastructure, by fostering reconciliation, building confidence and supporting civil society. It also aims to bring the Turkish Cypriot community closer to the EU, through information and contacts between Turkish Cypriots and other EU citizens.
Turkey and certain Turkish Cypriot politicians have said they planned to open Varosha for settlement after 46 years.
Varosha was abandoned by its inhabitants in August 1974 fearing capture by the advancing Turkish army, which invaded the island on July 20.
It has since been a military area and access is prohibited.
According to UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984) any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants is inadmissible. It also calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN. Resolution 789 (1992) says that the area at present under the control of Unficyp should be extended to include Varosha.