Following the reaffirmation of UN resolutions on Varosha by the UN Security Council on Wednesday, parliament unanimously passed a resolution condemning recent activity by Turkey in the fenced-off town, which it said threatened a change to the status quo, and called on the international community, particularly the UN, to step up pressure on Ankara.
The House stressed that further sanctions should be imposed on Turkey by the EU in the event that it moves forward with plans to reopen the ghost town under Turkish Cypriot administration.
Kudret Ozersay, the Turkish Cypriot ‘foreign minister’ in August arranged a press visit for Turkish Cypriot and Turkish journalists into the fenced-off area for the first time in 45 years and has said that he will gradually open the city. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has also recently made statements to that effect.
On Friday, Turkey deemed the UNSC’s decision to discuss Varosha in light of Turkish Cypriot intent to open it for settlement, an abuse of its mandate.
In its resolution, the plenum also called on Turkey to provide assistance to the work of the committee of missing persons.
In a meeting with Famagusta municipal council representatives on Friday, British High Commissioner Stephen Lillie stressed his support for the UN resolutions on Varosha.
Famagusta mayor Simos Ioannou said that the municipality asked for the assistance of the UK, and Lillie himself, in influencing the Turkish Cypriot side to abide by the resolutions.
Ioannou said Lillie was very positive and gave assurances “that under no circumstances will they [the British] accept that Famagusta is placed under Turkish Cypriot administration.”
The plenum on Friday further censured Turkey for its offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria on Thursday and called on Turkey to immediately withdraw its forces from all Syrian territory.
It also called on the UNSC and its permanent members to demand an immediate end to the invasion and the immediate withdrawal of Turkish forces from Syria, as well as on the international community to defend the right of the Syrian people to decide their future without intervention and to live in peace.
The House stressed that the recent Turkish invasion in Syria was yet another illicit act that violated the UN Charter and international law, in view of what it called Turkey’s firm policy of expansionism against neighbouring countries which poses a permanent threat to peace in the wider region of the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
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