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House approves resolution on Famagusta
2010-05-07 13:55:07

Nicosia, May 6 – The House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution calling on Turkey to exhibit the necessary will for the return of the fenced off area of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta to its legitimate owners, on the basis of the 1979 High Level Agreement and the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council.

The resolution pointed out that this would be a gesture of good will and an actual contribution to the efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

Acting House President Dina Akkelidou recalled the relevant UN Security Council resolutions 550/1984 and 789/1992, which relate to Varosha, the fenced off area of Famagusta town, on the eastern coast.

The Cyprus House stresses ''the humanitarian nature” of the issue of Famagusta, a European ghost town since the 1974 Turkish invasion. It also notes the possibility of the return of the town’s fenced off area to its legitimate owners, as a building confidence measure, saying such a move would improve the climate of the ongoing peace talks between the leaders of the two communities.

The Cyprus House refers also to the position of the UN, as this is outlined in the last report of the Secretary General on November 29, 2009, which points out that the Turkish government has the responsibility for the status quo in Varosha.

The Cyprus Parliament recalls in its resolution the High Level Agreement of May 19, 1979, its own resolution of June 7, 1984 as well as the proposal of the Cyprus government in 2005 for the opening of the Famagusta port and its co-administration by Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots under the supervision of the European Commission.

The resolution expresses appreciation for moves by the European Parliament on the issue of Famagusta and in particular the assignment of experts from the European Union to examine the restoration of the fenced off town of Famagusta.

Famagusta, Cyprus’ booming tourist resort and commercial port before the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, has been fenced-off ever since, despite UN Security Council Resolution 550 (1984) which ''calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the United Nations.''

Speaking on the issue of Famagusta after a meeting with a delegation from the Famagusta Municipality headed by mayor Alexis Galanos, on May 7, Minister of Foreign Affairs Markos Kyprianou said that the issue of Famagusta and the return of the fenced-off town to its legitimate citizens was an issue that was not related to talks to solve the Cyprus problem but was a direct responsibility of Turkey, adding that the government was in close cooperation and contact with the Famagusta Municipality to promote the issue.

Minister Kyprianou said that since the issue of Famagusta was the responsibility of Turkey, the change in the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community should not change prospects for a settlement of the issue, adding that anywhere the Turkish army is involved there are complications and a negative approach.

Minister Kyprianou said the government and the Famagusta Municipality are promoting a campaign for the town and that regular meetings facilitate coordination.

''The issue of Famagusta and the return of the fenced-off area to its inhabitants is not only a confidence building measure. It is also an issue not related to the talks but a direct responsibility of Turkey,'' he said, pointing out that this has been recorded in UN and European Parliament resolutions and in reports by the UN Secretary General.

Minister Kyprianou said that ''since 1979 it has been acknowledged by the other side as well that the issue of Famagusta is a separate issue and must and can be promoted separately.''

Replying to questions, Minister Kyprianou said that ''since it is the responsibility of Turkey, the change in the leadership in the occupied areas should not change the prospects for a solution of this issue.''

''Turkey was and continues to be negative in this issue and this is an obligation, among others, that it refuses to meet,'' Minister Kyprianou said, adding that ''this is not something that concerns the Turkish Cypriots but Turkey and of course the Turkish army, and wherever the Turkish army is involved, there are complications and a negative approach.''

Minister Kyprianou pointed out that ''this is the challenge for the international community, which has already recognized, through the UN and the European Parliament, that it is the responsibility of Turkey and can be promoted separately,” he concluded.

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