Famagusta Municipal Council Adopts Resolution for the Return of the Town
Larnaca, Aug 16 - The Mayor and the Municipal Council of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta have expressed certainty that President of the Republic Demetris Christofias will fight for a solution of the Cyprus problem with determination and consistency.
This statement is included in a resolution calling for the return of Famagusta, under Turkish occupation since 1974, to its lawful inhabitants. The resolution was adopted on Saturday by the Famagusta Municipal Council, in a public meeting at Dherynia Cultural Centre, on the south of this eastern coastal city, to mark the 34th anniversary since the town was captured by the advancing Turkish troops in the summer of 1974.
The resolution calls for the return of Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants and points out that a step in that direction would be the immediate return of the fenced off area of Famagusta, now under Turkish occupation.
“We consider that the Famagusta issue should be immediately put in the table as a confidence building measure that will significantly improve the climate for the promotion of the talks, and which also benefits both communities in Cyprus,” the resolution adds.
The Famagusta Municipal Council also welcomes the initiatives taken by President Christofias for the commencement of direct negotiations between the leaders of the two communities on September 3rd. In addition, it stresses that it supports and works towards a solution of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.
The Council “considers the progress achieved so far, as well as the decision for the beginning of direct negotiation on 3 September, as steps in the right direction”.
The resolution also refers to the occupation of Famagusta as a violation of international law. “The continuing and illegal occupation of a European town violates not only human rights, but also UN Security Council resolution 550 and the high level agreements between the two communities in Cyprus”.
The Famagusta Municipal Council also welcomes the report adopted recently by the European Parliament Committee of Petitions.
According to the report, ''UNSC Resolution 550(1984) must be respected, and implemented without further delay by all parties and, with regard to the petitioners' concerns, the institutions of the European Union must actively support and promote a solution which leads to the full restoration of property to its legitimate owners in Varosha.'' Furthermore, ''Turkey must withdraw its occupation military forces from the Republic of Cyprus, an EU territory, starting with the return of the Famagusta sealed-off section to its lawful inhabitants in compliance with the above resolution.''
In its resolution, the Municipal Council calls on the international community, and especially the United Nations and the European Union, to influence Ankara to change its stance on the Cyprus issue.
Finally, it calls the Turkish Cypriot leadership to proceed to the direct negotiations with good will and readiness to negotiate a bizonal, bicommunal federation.
Since the 1974 invasion, Famagusta has been under Turkish occupation. The fenced off part of the city is under the direct control of the Turkish military and remains to this day abandoned. Famagusta has been declared by the government of Cyprus a closed port of entry. The UN has called for the return of the city to its lawful inhabitants but so far Turkey has refused to comply with the UN call.