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Declaration to EU Commissioner for return of Varosha
2005-05-11 17:20:58

Nicosia, May 11 (CNA)--Famagusta Municipality has appealed to European Union Commissioner Olli Rhen to work towards the return of the Turkish occupied town to its lawful inhabitants and the joint operation of the city port, by Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

The appeal came in a resolution signed by Famagusta Mayor Yiannakis Skordis on behalf of the Municipal Council and all organized associations and societies of the occupied town, on the occasion of Rehn's visit to Cyprus, beginning Thursday.

In the declaration Skordis notes ''we believe that the return of even the fenced-off (within barbed wire) part of Ammochostos to its legal owners at the soonest possible, in conjunction with the full operation of the Ammochostos port, within an acceptable to the two sides context, would assist in many ways as a first step''.

It would prove in practice, he adds, that Turkey has indeed decided to proceed with the solution of the Cyprus problem in general and that Ankara is ready to perform its new European role, maintaining thus peaceful and friendly relations with all the members of the European Community.

He says that the commencement of works aiming at the rehabilitation of the deserted city will create new employment positions and at the same time will tremendously increase the area's economic development rate which will greatly help in increasing the present low standard of living for the Turkish Cypriots who now live and work in the area.

The Mayor of Famagusta points out that the most important gain from the return of the city to its lawful inhabitants is that it will prove in practice that it is possible to maintain cooperation and co-habitation peacefully.

Such a step, he continues, could operate as a pilot, experimental program which in practice will prove that problems that up to date have been considered insurmountable may in fact be non-existent.

''On the contrary, if we continue the division of the island, the added destructive effects of time on the desolate city of Ammochostos, in conjunction with the, of late, observed intensification of a grand scale construction business on Greek Cypriot land in the occupied areas, will create additional problems that impede even further the implementation of a future solution'', concludes.

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