Athens is demanding the immediate intervention of the international community after Turkey announced plans on Tuesday to partially open Varosha, the southern part of Famagusta that has been fenced off and abandoned since Turkey invaded the north of Cyprus in 1974.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that Turkey’s attempts to legitimize illegal activities by proposing “alternative” ideas would not mislead anyone.
Addressing an event titled “Strengthening US-Cyprus relations in the face of Turkish intransigence” organized by the World Coordinating Committee of the Cyprus Struggle, Mitsotakis noted that “the root cause of the Cyprus problem is the illegal Turkish invasion of 1974 and the continuing occupation of the northern part of the island.”
Therefore, there is no room for any “alternative” settlement, he said, referring to Ankara’s pursuit of a two-state solution for the Cyprus problem. “There is only one legal framework for resolving the Cyprus issue, the one set out in the UN Security Council resolutions,” he added.
At the same time, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias visited Nicosia on Wednesday, where he conveyed Athens’ full support to the Republic of Cyprus.
Earlier, Dendias briefed his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in an extensive letter, as France holds the presidency of the Security Council this month. According to diplomatic sources, Dendias stressed, among other things, that the return of Varosha to its legal inhabitants under UN administration is a priority, regardless of the outcome of discussions on other aspects of the Cyprus issue.
Speaking in Nicosia, Dendias said Ankara is seeking to create “new realities” on the ground and “to bury once and for all the prospect of reunification of Cyprus.”
“They are violating the decisions of the UN Security Council in the most barbaric way. They violate international law… and confirm Turkish intentions, which are none other than the extension of the occupation in Cyprus and the consolidation of a neo-Ottoman hegemony in the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean,” he said.