Cyprus Foreign Minister, Nikos Christodoulides, underlined on Wednesday the need for the full implementation of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judgments, including the Interstate Case of Cyprus against Turkey, expressing at the same time his grave concern for the escalating provocations of Turkey against Cyprus.
“We utterly condemn Turkey’s decision to open part of the beach front of the fenced area of Varosha on 8th October 2020, aiming at creating new and dangerous fait accompli on the ground, in violation of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions,” Christodoulides said in his intervention at the Council of Europe Foreign Ministers online session.
He went on to say that the UN Security Council was very clear in its reaction through the Statement issued by its President, requesting a reversal of this course of action. In this respect, we are also grateful to the Council of Europe Secretary General for her clear statement on the issue, he noted.
Christodoulides said that “it is our collective duty to continue to strive, through the Committee of Ministers, to ensure the full implementation of the ECHR judgments, including the ones concerning Interstate case. One such case is the 4th Interstate Case Cyprus v. Turkey, in which Turkey has failed to date to comply with the Court’s judgment.”
“It is not my intention today to dwell on this judgement; I do however wish to draw your attention to the issue of the missing persons in Cyprus, an issue which is first and foremost of humanitarian nature. It is a disgrace that the fate of half of the missing persons in Cyprus remains undetermined for the past 46 years after the Turkish military invasion. Surely this is not a reflection of the international human rights protection system we all aspire to,” he noted.
Moreover, he resolutely condemned all forms of terrorist attacks and hate speech and expressed once more Cyprus` “full solidarity and support to France and Austria following the heinous terrorist attacks.”
“Cyprus is convinced that more action is needed to protect the freedom of expression and the freedom of the media in Europe,” Christodoulides underlined.
As regards the COVID-19 pandemic, he noted that it challenges the core of our European principles and as such needs to be addressed decisively and collectively. “Whilst the pandemic has proven how crises are interlinked, our response remains unfortunately, fragmented. International cooperation is the only way to effectively tackle today’s extraordinary challenges,” he stressed.
Moreover he reaffirmed that Cyprus shall remain a committed supporter of the Council of Europe and the values it embodies and projects on the whole of Europe and beyond.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
Ankara sent on several occasions seismic research vessels to Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), to conduct unauthorised drilling activities of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean, in areas licensed by Cyprus to international energy companies.
The European Council reaffirmed its full solidarity with Cyprus, regarding the respect of its sovereignty and sovereign rights in accordance with international law and in February 2020, placed two persons under restrictive measures, in relation to Turkey`s unauthorised drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
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.