- Cyprus complains to the Security Council about Varosha plans
- Turkey rejects criticism
- Varosha, poignant symbol of
NICOSIA, July 21 (Hfrance.fr) - Cyprus on Wednesday appealed to the UN Security Council regarding the plans ofTurkish Cypriot authorities aiming to partially reopen an abandoned resort, as Turkey reiterated its call for a two-state solution on the island despite international criticism.
The Turkish Cypriots, backed by Ankara, said on Tuesday that part of Varosha - now a military zone and an area touted in the past to be returned to rival Greek Cypriots - would come under civilian control and be open to a potential relocation.
This sparked an angry reaction from the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government from Cyprus, and a chorus of disapproval from the Western powers, led by the United States, which called the move "unacceptable ". learn more
UN Secretary GeneralAntonio Guterres is deeply concerned about the decision of the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey, UN spokesman Farhan Haq said in a statement.
"The Secretary-General has repeatedly called on all parties to refrain from any unilateral action that causes tensions and could undermine ongoing efforts to seek common ground between the parties with a view to 'a lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue "said Haq.
Haq said the UN position on Varosha remains unchanged and is guided by the relevant Security Council resolutions.
Turkey has ignored the criticism.
An estimated 17,000 Greek Cypriot residents of Varosha fled advancing Turkish troops in August 1974 It has remained empty ever since, cordoned off with barbed wire and prohibition signsentry. United Nations resolutions called for the area to be handed over to the UN administration.
The reallocation of the area to the Cypriot civilian authorities Turkey challenges a widely held assumption that Varosha is among the areas likely to return to Greek Cypriot control in the event of a peace agreement in Cyprus.
"This is a flagrant violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions and will have a negative impact on ongoing efforts to relaunch talks," said Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides.
The eastern Mediterranean island was
The leader chypTurkish riote Ankara-backed Ersin Tatar says only a two-state agreement will work now.
"Now the Turkish Cypriots' sole demand in the International negotiations is the recognition of the status of a sovereign state, "Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday, a day after his visit to Cyprus for the announcement of Tatar. "All offers other than this have expired.
To date, the peace talks in Cyprus have focused on the unification of the island under a federal umbrella. Greek Cypriots reject two-state deal that would grant sovereign status to the separatist Turkish Cypriot state that only Ankara recognizes.
In the words of A 2004 UN reunification plan, Varosha was one of the areas reportedly returned to its inhabitants under Greek Cypriot administration. The plan, which detailed the meetingfication as part of a complex power-sharing deal, was rejected in a referendum by the Greek Cypriots.
A poignant symbol of the Report by Michele Kambas; additional reporting by Jonathan Spicer in Istanbul and Michelle Nichols in New York; Edited by Gareth Jones and Richard Pullin
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