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PACE committee sending rapporteur to Cyprus for Famagusta report

Feature Evie The Varosha Coastline (evie Andreou)
The Varosha coastline

Italian MP Piero Fassino is to visit Cyprus soon for his report on the return of Famagusta to its rightful owners after receiving the green light from the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), it was announced on Tuesday.

Disy MP Nicos Tornaritis said that after coordinated efforts by Cyprus’ representation at PACE, Tuesday’s meeting of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy in Strasbourg decided that Italian MP Piero Fassino would draft a report entitled ‘Appeal for the return of Famagusta to its legal inhabitants’.

The motion for a resolution was tabled at the initiative of the Famagusta Association of Great Britain, through British Labour MP Geraint Davies last June, he added.

“The proposal was co-signed by members of the Cypriot delegation to the PACE as well as other members of the Assembly,” Tornaritis said.

The Rapporteur is expected to pay a working visit to Cyprus soon for the purpose of preparing his report, he added.

The association, in its proposed resolution called on PACE to join the European Parliament which, in its resolution on Varosha of November 26, 2020, condemned Turkey’s illegal activities in Varosha and warned that the city’s partial “opening” weakens prospects of a solution exacerbating divisions and entrenching the permanent partition of the island.

Turkey should be asked to act according to the UN Security Council resolutions and return Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants, and PACE should urge Council of Europe member states to exert pressure on Turkey to co-operate and refrain from actions that are inconsistent with international law and relevant UN resolutions, it added.

About a year ago, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side opened part of the coastal area of the fenced off Varosha to visitors. Last July it was announced that 3.5 per cent of Varosha, a part adjacent to the open part of the town, would be demilitarised and owners were encouraged to lay their claims for return through the immovable properties commission.

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