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Report on possible UN recourse over Varosha to go to president on Monday

A report addressing a possible recourse to the United Nations over Famagusta will be presented on Monday to President Nicos Anastasiades, Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides said on Sunday.

Replying to remarks made by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Christodoulides also send the message that the Cyprus solution that is being sought after is a bizonal bicommunal federation, on the basis of UN resolutions.

“This is a clear message towards Cavusolglu and every direction,” the Foreign Minister noted, in statements after a memorial service in Nicosia.

As to the possibility of a recourse to the United Nations, the Foreign Minister said that a relevant report was finalized on Saturday, after several meetings with all permanent members of the UN Security Council.

The report will be presented before the President of the Republic, who is also going to be informed about the various options available in order to reach the desired objective, he added.

Referring to Cavusoglu’s remarks in various interviews, Christodoulides said that Turkey needs to give an answer with regard to the resumption of settlement talks from where they were left off at Crans-Montana, on the basis of the terms of reference over which the two leaders reached a mutual understanding on August 9.

The resumption of talks will have one goal only, a Cyprus settlement on the basis of UN resolutions, he added. Any different position on the part of Turkey should be submitted to the UN Secretary-General, Christodoulides said.

Asked about Turkish statements over Famagusta, the Foreign Minister of Cyprus reminded that in his response letter the President of Cyprus, UN Secretary-General wrote last August that the UN and the international community remain committed to UN resolutions and decisions regarding Varosha, the fenced-off part of Famagusta.

As to public statements from the Turkish Cypriot side, that almost 80% of the properties in Varosha belong to EVKAF, the directorate administrating Muslim charitable foundations in Cyprus, the Foreign Minister said that this is absolutely not true.

“Nobody can put in question the ownership status of properties in Famagusta, irrespective of the number of studies Ozersay conducts and of the actions undertaken by Turkey,” Christodoulides noted.

Asked to comment Cavusoglu’s statement that the terms of reference need to follow a five-party conference, to discuss the type of a Cyprus settlement, the Foreign Minister said that Cavusoglu should convey these positions to the UN Secretary-General.

At times, Cavusoglu makes a number of statements, hoping to create problems inside the Greek Cypriot community, the Foreign Minister said and reiterated, that the goal of a Cyprus settlement is a bizonal, bicommunal federation, on the basis of UN resolutions.

Christodoulides said finally that a group of experts from the Greek Foreign Ministry visited Cyprus and during the last two days they discussed a number of issues, in order to prepare a meeting of the Foreign Ministers that will address all issues, from Cyprus, Greek-Turkish relations and developments in the Eastern Mediterranean to Western Balkans, EU developments and other issues.

Addressing on Sunday the memorial service, the Foreign Minister called for unity in the interior and said that the Greek Cypriot side will continue working for a Cyprus settlement that will reunify the island.

He said moreover that Turkey needs to contribute in forming the appropriate climate, by terminating its illegal activities in the territorial waters of Cyprus and putting an end to its designs for new faits accompli, as is in the case of Famagusta.

The recent contacts between the UN envoy Jane Holl Lute and the two leaders have proven beyond any doubt that concluding the terms of reference, to pave the way for the resumption of settlement talks, is possible, the Foreign Minister said. He remarked, however, that Turkey’s intervention and its position for a new procedure, not linked to Crans-Montana but targeting new types of settlement, did not allow for a positive conclusion.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Varosha is the fenced off section of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, often described as ‘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.

Efforts over the years for the legitimate citizens of Famagusta to return to the city have met with the refusal of the Turkish side, despite numerous decisions and resolutions by the UN, EU and other international institutions.

(Cyprus News Agency)

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