Anastasiades lashes out at international community over Varosha

Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades lashed out at the European Union, United Kingdom and the United Nations' top envoy for failing to punish Turkey for its undermining of re-unification talks in an interview with Euronews on Tuesday.

The Greek Cypriot leader accused the U.K, one of the international guarantors for the Cyprus settlement, and U.N envoy Elizabeth Spehar for effectively enabling Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to act against U.N Security Council ((UNSC) resolutions related to Cyprus. 

"Mr Erdogan’s audacity is not a coincidence because there are those who are under the impression that they can interpret even UN resolutions or their clarity if you will,” said Anastasiades. 

He appeared to be referencing a report that Spehar had urged UNSC members to consider a broader perspective in interpreting past resolutions. 

On the U.K, Anastasiades accused London of gradually giving in to Turkey's demands on the Cyprus question more than it is about resolving Cyprus' division according to UNSC resolutions. Instead, he said the U.K's efforts "are boosting revisionism, aggression, and unlawful acts in general" on Turkey's part.

In his interview, Anastasiades repeated a threat he previously made in May to veto the E.U's 'positive agenda' with Turkey in response to Turkish actions. To this end, Anastasiades expressed his frustration with the E.U for its willingness to countenance Turkey's counterproductive behaviour with statements of solidarity or condemnation, but no practical response.

“Unfortunately,” he said, in Europe, there were “interests beyond principles and values," he told Euronews. 

Last week, Turkey announced the reopening of the resort town of Varosha, in contravention of UNSC resolutions that did not allow this unilateral action. Speaking to a crowd, Erdogan proclaimed that Turkey did not care for outside criticism of this decision and would do as it pleased. He also repeated his desire to see a two-state solution for Cyprus that would cement the division that followed the 1974 Turkish invasion which followed a Greek junta sponsored coup. 

On top of tension over the Cyprus dispute, Turkey for years now has laid claim to large swathes of Cypriot waters that it claims are part of its exclusive economic zone. This region is believed to be rich in natural gas deposits and Ankara is concerned that regional states are looking to exclude it from these riches.
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