Turkish Cypriots announced Wednesday that Maronites can return to the villages of Asomatos, Kormakitis and Karpasia in the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus.
Those who return will remain under Turkish-Cypriot administration. A Turkish-Cypriot committee is making the necessary preparations.
The Greek-Cypriot side had expected such a development after the breakdown of talks in Crans-Montana aimed at solving the Cyprus issue.
There was no immediate response from the government in Nicosia to the Turkish-Cypriot announcement.
Many in the Maronite community in Cyprus, who speak Cypriot Maronite Arabic, are descended from Maronites who came mainly from Syria and Lebanon between the 9th and 10th century.