Cyprus expects Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots to comply with the clear calls of the UN Security Council to respect the status of Varosha, and refrain from any actions that might adversely affect the right of return and the property rights of the city’s lawful inhabitants.

In a letter dated October 11 to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, which circulated as an official document of the General Assembly on Tuesday, the Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN Andreas Mavroyiannis said “the government has brought the matter of grave concern to the attention of the UN several times in recent months.

“The threats by Turkey to open the occupied city of Varosha is an open violation of Security Council resolutions in Cyprus,” he said.

“The special status of Varosha has been defined through a number of stipulations adopted either directly by the Security Council or endorsed by it. As an area under the direct control of the Turkish army and an area for which Turkey has control and responsibility, the Secretary-General’s reports explicitly states that the Turkish government is also responsible for its status quo.”

Mavroyiannis also said that any actions that might adversely affect the right of return and the property rights of the city’s lawful inhabitants must be avoided.

“We also expect Turkey to stop threatening to open Varosha and to cease violations of Security Council resolutions on the ground by undertaking ‘inventory studies’ in Varosha,” he said.

The Cyprus government would continue to exert every effort for the return of Varosha to its rightful and lawful owners and inhabitants under the auspices of the UN, as a matter of priority and in line with relevant Security Council resolutions and the 1979 High-level Agreement, he said.

“We remain convinced that such a venture would serve as a tangible measure and could prove to be a game-changer, contributing greatly in creating a climate that would lead to the resumption of the peace process and eventually leading to a fair and durable comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.”

The UN Security Council recently reaffirmed its previous resolutions calling for the protection of the status quo in the fenced-off town.

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