State Department on Varosha: Erdogan’s visit a ‘step in the wrong direction’


The US State Department called on Turkey to reconsider its decision to reopen Varosha, a beach resort abandoned by Greek Cypriots fleeing Turkey’s invasion in 1974, and described a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north of Cyprus on Sunday as a “step in the wrong direction.”

“The United States supports efforts to de-escalate tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and continues to demand dialogue and respect for international law,” a State Department spokesperson said.

“President Erdogan’s recent visit was a step in the wrong direction. The United States continues to support a comprehensive settlement for the reunification of the island on the basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, which will benefit all Cypriots, as well as the wider region.”

Ankara backed the partial re-opening of Varosha ahead of last month’s election in the occupied north, in a move criticized by the UN, Athens and Nicosia.