File Photo: People walk inside an area fenced off by the Turkish military since 1974 in the abandoned coastal area of Varosha, a suburb of the town of Famagusta in Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus, October 8, 2020. REUTERS
Egypt expressed deep concerns on Wednesday over a Turkish Cypriot announcement to partly reopen Varosha, Cyprus’s northern town emptied of its original Greek Cypriot residents and abandoned since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.
The 47-year-old invasion split Cyprus into a Turkish Cypriot north and a Greek Cypriot south. Varosha is a town in Famagusta, a major port in Northern Cyprus that only Ankara recognises.
The Egyptian foreign ministry said the move violates the relevant United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) resolutions.
“Egypt affirms its call for the necessity of adherence to the Security Council resolutions in this regard and for refraining from any unilateral actions that may lead to complicating the situations and increase the level of tensions,” the ministry said.
The ministry highlighted the necessity for full commitment to the comprehensive settlement path of the Cypriot issue in accordance with international resolutions.
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Tuesday plans to reopen part of the ghost-town of Maras, the Turkish name of Varosha, in contravention of UN resolutions, triggering international condemnation.
UN Security Council Resolution 550 considers attempts to allow other people other than Varosha’s inhabitants to settle in the town as inadmissible and urges its transfer to the administration of the UN.
Turkish Cypriots said on Tuesday that Varosha people would be able to reclaim properties, but Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, who deemed the move as illegal, said Turkey should have instead handed the town over to the UN.