Cyprus Mail

Actions in Varosha contradict UN resolutions, bicommunal joint declaration says

Sunbeds and other public facilities laid out on the beach in Varosha

The actions taken in Varosha do not help the solution and they contradict the UN Security Council resolutions serving the permanent division of our island, according to a bicommunal joint declaration signed by 114 Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot organisations.

The joint declaration was presented on Friday during a press conference by a delegation representing the 114 organisations.

“The continuation of the division of our country, economic hardship, the ongoing tension in the Mediterranean region, the armaments race, the risk of war, migration related issues and suffering are the sad realities caused by the continuation of the Cyprus problem” the joint declaration says.

It adds that “as communities living in Cyprus, we paid the price of war with our blood, tears and pain and we continue to do so. Believing that peace is a virtue, we would like to emphasise our demand for the reunification of Cyprus in a bizonal, bicommunal federation with a single sovereignty, single international personality and single citizenship with mutual respect and political equality as defined by UN resolutions”.

The organisations note that “combating natural disasters together, acting together in the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic, facilitating crossing, cooperating in fighting crime, eliminating chauvinist, nationalist and racist discourses in educational systems and adhering to the decisions of the United Nations on the subject of  Varosha will be important steps on the way to a solution and will increase the sense of trust between the communities”.

They stress that “exploiting the Varosha issue for political and electoral ends, and turning the sharing of hydrocarbon reserves into a cause of tension and war will not provide any benefit for anyone. Tension policies result in an increase of the armaments race in our country turning our island into a military camp”.

They call upon  the leaders to resume  the negotiations process  for a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem immediately, on the basis of an EU Member Bi-zonal, Bi-Communal “United Federal Cyprus” with single sovereignty, single citizenship and single international personality, as stated in the United Nations resolutions and from the point it stopped in 2017, therefore with the convergences reached by the two sides, the Joint Declaration of the two leaders and the Guterres Framework, we call upon them to proceed avoiding actions that will create further tension.

“We remind that all communities living in Cyprus have suffered from the status quo created by the military coup organised by the fascist Greek junta 47 years ago and the military intervention of Turkey that brought about the division of our country, and we emphasise that the current separatist status quo must come to an end” the joint declaration says.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and still occupies 37% of the island`s territory.

Varosha, the fenced off section of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, is 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. UN Security Council resolution 789 (1992) also urges that with a view to the implementation of resolution 550 (1984), the area at present under the control of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus be extended to include Varosha.

On October 8, 2020, the Turkish side opened part of the fenced area of Varosha, following an announcement made in Ankara on October 6. Both the UN Secretary-General and the EU expressed concern, while the UN Security Council called for the reversal of this course of action.

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