Greece calls for EU to clarify red line on Varosha

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Monday called on EU foreign ministers to clarify the EU’s red line on the town of Varosha in the north of the ethnically-divided island of Cyprus, Kathimerini newspaper reported.

Denidas made the remarks as he arrived for the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, the newspaper said.

On October 8, 2020, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) opened part of the fenced area of Varosha for the first time since the 1974, when Turkey invaded the north in response to a Greek Cypriot coup aiming to unite the island with Greece. It had been designated as a Turkish army military zone up until then.

The European Union has condemned Turkey’s unilateral steps and the “unacceptable” announcements made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar to reopen Varosha.

Tatar last month said the TRNC plans to open up fenced off Varosha to people wanting to inhabit the ghost town and Erdoğan has thrown his weight behind the plans, visiting the town in July.

“Today, on the 38th anniversary of the proclamation of the pseudo-state in northern Cyprus, the Council will discuss the options paper, which will be presented by [EU High Representative] Joseph Borrell, in order to indicate — I hope — to Turkey the red lines on the issue of Varosha,’’ it cited Dendias saying.

“I hope there will be a European reply today to Turkey’s continued unlawful behaviour and its attempt to disregard the decisions of the UN Security Council,” the Greek official added.

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