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Cyprus

Kasoulides urges Turkish side to accept CBMs

Foreign Minister Ioannis kasoulides

The only way forward in Cyprus is dialogue and there is no alternative, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has said.

Addressing an annual event on Saturday night in the Famagusta region, organised by the town’s municipality Kasoulides said the only choice is a solution based on UN parameters and he urged the Turkish Cypriot leadership to respond to the expectations of its community.

Kasoulides was representing President Nicos Anastasiades at the event to mark 48 years since Greek Cypriots fled the now-fenced ghost town of Varosha ahead of advancing Turkish troops. The Turkish side has over the past almost two years begun opening up the abandoned town to visitors in violation of international law and UN resolutions.

In his speech, Kasoulides said the government was making persistent efforts to save Varosha, and to resume Cyprus negotiations.

There is no other way than dialogue, nor any alternative option that could lead to a remapping of our national policy,” he said.

“Our only option, he said, is a solution to the Cyprus problem according to UN parameters.”

Referring to Turkey’s illegal actions in Varosha, he said they are “part of a policy to create and consolidate new faits accompli on the ground. These are actions which are against the spirit and the letter of the UNSC resolutions 550 and 789 and all the presidential statements of the SC on Famagusta as raised during the Council’s closed sessions”.

The Turkish Cypriot leadership announced in July 2021 a partial lifting of the military status in Varosha. A few months earlier, on October 8, 2020, the Turkish side opened part of the fenced area, following an announcement made in Ankara on October 6.

The UN Security Council called for the reversal of this course of action, while the UN Secretary-General, in his latest report on his mission of good offices in Cyprus, reiterated his concern over developments in the fenced-off area, noting that the position of the UN on Varosha remains unchanged. The EU also expressed grave concern.

Kasoulides said Turkey cannot be allowed to continue ignoring international law. He referred to the package of confidence building measures which the government has promoted in the last few months, saying the measures were “generous and bold” while their implementation will mutually benefit both communities.

However, he said the package of measures were rejected by the Turkish Cypriot side which insists on a two-state policy, recognition of the sovereign equality status of the Turkish Cypriot community in order for negotiations to resume, “positions which are unacceptable and are contrary to the goal of reunification.
Kasoulides said that what worries the Greek Cypriot side was instability and impasse. “This is what’s causing disappointment and concern”, he added.

“We want our town back. Condemnation and UN resolutions and decisions are not enough. We want Famagusta back, we want all our towns and villages back,” he said.

“We urge the Turkish Cypriot leadership to abandon its irrational and maximalist outbursts for a two-state solution and exhibit the required will to start a dialogue based on the CBMs.”

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