The European Union on Tuesday condemned a plan by Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leaders to partially reopen the abandoned resort of Varosha and called for an immediate reversal of the decision.
Below is the full statement by the bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borrell.
The European Union strongly condemns Turkey’s unilateral steps and the unacceptable announcements made by the Turkish President and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community on 20 July 2021 on the further reopening of the fenced-off town of Varosha.
The EU welcomes the statement made by the President of the UN Security Council on behalf of the Council on 23 July 2021, and in particular the Security Council’s condemnation and expression of deep regret about the unilateral actions in Varosha that run contrary to the Security Council’s previous resolutions and statements. The EU equally calls for the immediate reversal of these actions and the reversal of all steps taken on Varosha since October 2020.
The EU continues to be guided by the relevant UN Security Council resolutions with respect to Varosha, in particular resolution 550 (1984) and resolution 789 (1992), which consider attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible, and which call for the transfer of that area to the administration of the United Nations. No actions should be carried out in relation to Varosha that are not in accordance with those resolutions. Full respect for and implementation of UN Security Council resolutions also require an immediate end to restrictions imposed on the freedom of movement of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in the Varosha area. The EU continues to hold the Government of Turkey responsible for the situation in Varosha.
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 the ongoing efforts to seek common ground between the parties towards a lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue in line with relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
The EU remains fully committed to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and in line with the principles on which the EU is founded. It reiterates that it is crucial that Turkey commits and contributes constructively to the resumption of negotiations for a comprehensive settlement, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. The EU will continue to support fully the United Nations Secretary-General’s efforts.
Ministers will consider actions at their next meeting, in case of non-reversal of Turkey’s actions contrary to UN Security Council resolutions 550/84 and 789/92, following the statement of the members of the European Council from 25 March 2021, which reaffirmed the determination of the EU, in case of renewed provocations and unilateral actions in breach of international law, to use the instruments and options at its disposal to defend its interests and those of its Member States, as well as to uphold regional stability.