The UK fully supports UN Security Council resolutions on Varosha which make clear that attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants are inadmissible, a UK High Commission spokesperson has told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) invited to comment on statements by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu that preparations are underway for the opening of the fenced-off city of Famagusta (Varosha).
“The fate of Varosha is the subject of UN Security Council Resolutions (550 and 789) that the UK fully supports. These make clear that ‘attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants [are] inadmissible’”, the spokesperson noted.
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 July 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.