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Christodoulides: Government working on unified refugee policy

annita christodoulides christos photo
House President Annita Demetrious with President Nikos Christodoulides (Photo: Christos Theodorides)

 

President Nikos Christodoulides on Monday stressed that the government is working to develop a unified refugee policy, prompted by reports of recent developments in Varosha.

The Cyprus Mail reported over the weekend that the agreement made for the purchase of the Varosha hotels appears to have no validity and is most probably an attempt to push for legal amendments in the north to open the way for the sale of properties in the fenced-off city.

But reports of the sale prompted a flurry of responses from senior state officials, including Christodoulides who said he met with the interior and foreign ministers earlier in the day, along with the attorney general, to discuss the matter.

“Finally, after so many years, [we need to] develop a specific refugee policy,” the president told reporters.

Asked if the government is considering compensation in relation to Varosha properties, Christodoulides said the government is considering something “more general in relation to the refugee policy”, adding that “we must admit that since 1974 there has not been a comprehensive refugee policy”.

It was further reported on Monday that House president Annita Demetriou has sent a series of notifications to UN security council members and her counterparts in the EU and regional partners over the latest developments in Varosha.

In them Demetriou expressed her deep concern over the negative implications of the alleged purchase of three hotels in Varosha by a Turkish Cypriot businessman from their Greek Cypriot owners.

She stated that the fenced-off city remains uninhabited since the Turkish invasion in 1974 and further warned of the methods employed by Ankara and the north to reopen the city which go against UN security council resolutions.

Demetriou specified that the developments are contrary to resolutions 550 and 789 along with the July 2021 statement by the council which called on Turkey to reverse its unilateral action.

She stressed that Turkey’s illegal actions undermine the prospects of a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem, of which property issue is a key aspect.


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