US lawmakers urge UN to stop Turkish plans for Cypriot resort

Nineteen U.S. lawmakers urged the United Nations to prevent Turkey from attempting to reopen the fenced-off Cypriot resort of Varosha.

In a letter addressed to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, members of the U.S. Congress called on the UN to firmly assert the organisation’s authority for the full implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on the deserted town, the Greek Reporter said on Tuesday.

The lawmakers also urged the organisation to consider sanctions in response to the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot plans to “illegally and unilaterally reopen and resettle the city”, the news website reported.

The self-styled Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) partially re-opened Varosha, a vacated and fenced-off resort town located in the eastern Cypriot city of Famagusta, to visitors in October last year and cleared part of its beach, prompting condemnation from Greece, the European Union and the United States as a violation of United Nations regulations.

On July 20, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Ersin Tatar, the president of TRNC announced plans to re-open additional parts of Varosha, inviting former residents to return.

By lifting a military status for part of the town, 3.5 percent of the area will be granted civilian status, Tatar and Erdoğan said.

On July 24, the United Nations Security Council unanimously condemned Turkish authorities’ announcement and insisted that Turkey refrain from implementing the plans.

A presidential statement by the UNSC said that “no actions should be carried out in relation to Varosha that are not in accordance with its resolutions”. 

A UN Security Council resolution adopted in 1984 says that any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its original inhabitants is “inadmissible”. A 1992 resolution that affirms the 1984 decision calls for the fenced-off resort town to be put under the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus’ (UNFICYP) control.

Varosha, known as Maraş in Turkish, has been uninhabited since Turkey invaded the northern third of Cyprus in 1974 and established the internationally unrecognised TRNC. 

 

 

 

 

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