News Local President briefs Famagusta local authorities on initiatives on Varosha

President briefs Famagusta local authorities on initiatives on Varosha

President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades on Thursday met with the local authorities of the occupied Famagusta Municipality, headed by Mayor Dr Simos Ioannou, and briefed them on the actions and initiatives of the government following the illegal opening of the fenced off town of Varosha.

Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides was also present during the meeting.

Government Spokesman Kyriakos Koushios said in a written statement that the President briefed the delegation on the actions taken by the Government to stop Turkey`s illegal activities  which are in clear violation of the UN Security Council resolutions.

President Anastasiades, the Spokesman said, told the delegation that he briefed the international community and the UN Secretary General on the Turkish violations and referred to the phone conversations he had on the issue with foreign officials, most recently with the UK Secretary of State, the EU High Representative and UNSG Special Envoy, who is set to visit Cyprus at the end of the month.

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.

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.

(CNA)

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