NEWS

Borrell: Turkey’s plans for Varosha are ‘unacceptable’

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A plan by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar on Tuesday to reopen part of the fenced-off area of Varosha, a southern suburb of Famagusta, Cyprus, is an “unacceptable unilateral decision,” the European Union’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said on Tuesday.

Varosha has been fenced off and abandoned since Turkey invaded northern Cyprus in 1974. 

Tatar said authorities plan to lift the military status for part of Famagusta, adding that 3.5 percent of the area will be granted civilian status.

Borrell said the EU follows the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions with respect to Varosha, “which must be respected in full.”

“No actions should be carried out in relation to Varosha that are not in accordance with those Resolutions. The EU continues to hold the government of Turkey responsible for the situation in Varosha,” he added.

“The EU once again underlines the need to avoid unilateral actions in breach of international law and renewed provocations, which could raise tensions on the island and compromise a return to talks on a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue in line with UN Security Council Resolutions,” he added.