Refugees have asked President Nikos Christodoulides to raise the matter of the status of Varosha with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron.
The mayor of Famagusta and a delegation of the displaced municipality with the new president at the palace on Monday.
Speaking to the media later, Famagusta mayor Simos Ioannou said he and the delegation were informed by Christodoulides about the latter’s contacts at the European Council summit in Brussels.
“We have exchanged views and will be in continuous contact for anything related to Famagusta,” he said.
Ioannou also said he briefed the president about the upcoming visit to Cyprus of Dolors Montserrat, President of the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions at the end of June, as well as of Nacho Sanchez Amor, rapporteur for Turkey’s accession to the EU.
The mayor has also requested to meet the new US Ambassador to Cyprus.
Ioannou said he asked the president to bring up the issue of Famagusta during the meetings Christodoulides will have with the heads of state of Germany and France.
“If the fenced-off area of Famagusta, addressed by the two resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, is lost, then not only will the rest of the city of Famagusta be lost, but other cities as well,” he stressed.
Ioannou rejected the notion of prioritising Famagusta at the expense of other aspects of the Cyprus problem.
“We have never asked for the return of the fenced-off area of Famagusta under the auspices of the United Nations in order to close the Cyprus issue,” he asserted.
“However, at this moment, with the change of the status quo in the fenced-off area, this means that we will no longer have an issue to discuss as concerns territory and the Cyprus issue,” noted Ioannou, stressing that everyone must support this effort ”so that the actions of Turkey and its puppet regime stop soon.”
The mayor added that “the only solution is for [peace] talks to begin.”
During the meeting, the president briefed the delegation on Nicosia’s efforts to get the European Union more actively engaged in the Cyprus peace process.
Under UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984), any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants are inadmissible. The resolution calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN.
In July 2021 Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar announced a partial lifting of the military status in Varosha.
Earlier, in October 2020, the Turkish side had opened part of the fenced-off area of Varosha, following an announcement made in Ankara on October 6.