The Commonwealth member states, having been briefed by Cyprus` Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Christodoulides, have issued a statement expressing “deep concern” over the illegal opening of the beach-front in Varosha, the fenced-off part of Turkish occupied Famagusta, last month.
The statement of the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Meeting on Monday reads: “We reaffirm herewith the status of Varosha as set out in relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, including Resolution 550 (1984) and 789 (1992), and reiterate that no actions should be carried out in Varosha that are not in accordance with these Resolutions. In this regard, we fully support and reiterate the call made by the UN Security Council in its a Presidential Statement on 9 October 2020.”
The Commonwealth member states also reiterate their support for the commitment reaffirmed by the UN Security Council to an enduring, comprehensive and just settlement in accordance with the wishes of the Cypriot people, and based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as set out in relevant Security Council resolutions.
In their statement they reaffirm their “full and enduring support for the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Cyprus,” and they declare their support for the resumption of negotiations.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest UN backed round of talks took place in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana but failed to yield any results.
The Turkish side illegally opened on October 8 part of the beach of the abandoned town of Famagusta, in violation to numerous UN resolutions.
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.