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President says he will not give up efforts for Famagusta and calls for unity to address Turkey’s provocations

President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, has stressed that he will not give up efforts to secure the inalienable right to return to Famagusta, adding that unity is needed to successfully address Turkish provocations.

Speaking at the anti-occupation event organised by the Famagusta Municipality on Saturday evening, the President referred to the many efforts to achieve the return of the town of Famagusta, as well as all the efforts he has made during his term in office to resolve the Cyprus issue.

Present at the event were ia the President of the House of Representatives, the Attorney General, Ministers, MEPs, MPs, representatives of political parties, Bishop of Constantia and Famagusta and respresentatives of the local administration.

Referring to the Cyprus talks at Crans-Montana, Switzerland in July 2017, he read out parts of the UN Secretary General`s report after the conference, in which, as he said, it is made clear that he did not abandon the negotiations and that the internal aspects for an agreement were resolved and differences were limited. “What led to  failure were Turkey`s intrasigent positions for the continuation of its guarantee and intervention rights.”

“I wonder if there is even one Greek Cypriot who would advise me to accept the continuation of guarantees and the dependence of the common state on foreign forces, which in fact would permanently maintain troops on the ground,” he  said.

He pledged that he will not give up efforts to “secure your inalienable right to return to a town which is protected by the strong resolutions of the United Nations”.

“In order to succeed in addressing Turkey`s threats, what is needed is unity among us,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, in statements to journalists before the event, President Anastasiades said that Turkey`s provocations seem to have no end and called once more for unity to address them.

Inivited to comment on Turkish President`s announcement for an international conference on  Varosha, President Anastasiades said that the provocation has no end, and we should all be concerned  in the sense that, instead of focusing on blaming each other, we should work in unity to succeed in stopping the Turkish aggression.

Addressing the event, Mayor of Famagusta Simos Ioannou said that this year`s anti-occupation event is different than the ones before, since we are full of anger, and pain, saying that the  Turkish side has taken the first steps for the opening of the enclosed city of Famagusta, for the settlement of our town, adding that this is  “a new crime over the one in 1974 and  the constant crime of the last 47 years”.

Mayor of Deryneia, Andros Karayiannis said that  memories  can not be erased despite the fact that almost 50 years have passed since the coup and the Turkish invasion and occupation.

During the event, a resolution adopted by the Famagusta Municipal Council was read out on the occassion of the 47th anniversary of the illegal  and continuous occupation of Famagusta by Turkish troops. The resolution reaffirms the position for a Cyprus settlement on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, as defined by the UN resolutions, and condemns “the recent illegal and provocative actions of Turkey and its representatives on the island which create new fait accompli agains the prospects for return to our home town in the framework of a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem”.

It urges the Turkish government to comply with the relevant UNSC resolutions 550 (1984) and  789 (1992), the High Level Agreement (1979), the resolutions, reports and decisions of the European Parliament and return immediately Famagusta to its legitimate citizens. It welcomes the recent UNSC resolution (2587) as well as the UNSC Presidential Statement on Varosha which call for a reversal of Turkish actions in Varosha.

It also welcomes the statements of condemnation and actions by Turkish Cypriots and urges the international community, the EU, the UN and, in particular, the five Permanent Members of the Security Council to intensify their efforts by exerting influence on Turkey to change its intrasigent stance and comply with international legality.

The Famagusta Municipal Council in its resolution says that the government too bears responsibility for the tragic situation we find ourselves today, noting that despite the fact that various actions were taken at diplomatic level, the end result proves that the strategy was not sufficient or capable to prevent the plans and the new fait accompli in our town, and calls upon the political forces to work for a common course to prevent the next step towards the final devision of our homeland.

Meanwhile, during the anti-occupation  event, a joint resolution by Greek Cypriot and Tukish Cypriot residents of Varosha was read out, entitled “We are together”. The resolution says that recent developments have shown that the future of Cyprus depends to a great extent on the situation in the fenced off area of Varosha.

“We feel the need to stand by the people of the fenced city to support their legitimate demands. So, we, the citizens who live on this island, can only consider reunitication of the island as a viable and peaceful solution to the problem according to the relevant parameters of the UN for a bicommunal, bizonal federation that provides for political equality between the two communities of the island”, they note in their resolution.

They also announced their intention to establish an inter-communal platform of organisations and individuals “who demand the reunification of our homeland”.

“We will be holding citizens` meetings every month in the fenced off area of Varosha, to clearly define our priorities and fight against the division of our homeland “, they conclude.

Turkey invaded Cyprus on July 20, 1974. Numerous UN backed talks to reunite the island have failed to yield results.

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.

Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, announced in July 2021 a partial lifting of the military status in Varosha.

On October 8, 2020, the Turkish side opened part of the fenced area of Varosha, following an announcement made in Ankara on October 6. Both the UN Secretary-General and the EU expressed concern, while the UN Security Council called for the reversal of this course of action.

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