The EU Foreign Ministers on Monday will discuss the situation regarding the fenced-off area of Varosha and possible ways for the bloc to react but sanctions against Turkey should not be expected.
This is what insiders told Philenews, adding that many state members – especially Germany – seem reluctant to burn bridges with Ankara despite Nicosia’s insistence that Turkey should be punished for its provocations.
Cyprus has been divided since July 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Numerous UN-backed talks to reunite the island have failed to yield results.
On the day of the anniversary last July Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his close ally Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar announced the partial re-opening of the ghost town of Varosha.
Even though UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984) considers any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its legal inhabitants as inadmissible. The resolution also calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN.
In addition, resolution 789 (1992) 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.
On October 8, the Turkish side opened part of the fenced area of Varosha following an announcement made in Ankara two days earlier.
Both the UN Secretary-General and the EU expressed concern, while the UN Security Council called for the reversal of this course of action.
The options paper to be debated on Monday is made up of two sections – one outlining the situation in the fenced off area of Varosha and one setting out the options that the EU has to respond.