Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, has said that the Republic of Cyprus will resort to the UN Security Council next week, over Turkey’s moves concerning the fenced-off town of Famagusta, known as Varosha. 

In statements to the press late on Friday after having completed all his meetings on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, President Anastasiades expressed his satisfaction about the outcome of his  “interesting and extremely important” meeting with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the understanding with which Cyprus’ positions were received by the five Security Council permanent members.

He noted that he conveyed to Guterres the Greek Cypriot side’s readiness and determination to enter into a dialogue and to reach agreement on the terms of reference, on the basis of the mutual understanding reached between himself and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on August 9 and to take part in a substantive, creative dialogue so that a solution can be reached based on the terms of reference, which would allow for its acceptance by both communities.

President Anastasiades further noted that what the Greek Cypriot side seeks, something which he has made clear to the UN Secretary General, is to reach a solution which will guarantee a functional state and therefore its sustainability.

He added that Guterres seems determined to be substantively involved in the process and that in this context at least from the outcome of their meting and depending on the outcome of Guterres` meeting with Akinci it seems that the SG will convene a trilateral meeting between himself and the two leaders within October so that the terms of reference can be finalised.

“The possibility of him convening an informal five-party meeting is also something he considers would contribute in leading us to well prepared, as he put it, resumption of the dialogue, in order for it to reach an outcome,” President Anastasiades pointed out.

He said that during the meeting he had the opportunity to outline to the UN Secretary General the situation with Turkey’s illegal actions and violations of the Republic of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), as well as the threats for the illegal settling of Varosha made by Turkish officials and the violations recorded within the buffer zone by the Turkish forces.

On a luncheon he hosted to representatives of the five Security Council permanent members, President Anastasiades said that he had the opportunity to brief them in detail on developments in the Cyprus problem and his meeting with Secretary General.

“We outlined specific facts on the threats against Famagusta and (we informed them) of our decision to recourse to the Security Council, so that in a closed-door meeting its position in resolutions 550 and 789 will be reaffirmed,” he noted.

“After having informed them of our determination as regards the resumption of a new dialogue, I asked for their support and necessary help during such an eventuality,” he added.

Cyprus President expressed his overall satisfaction over the outcome of his meetings at the UN seat especially as regards the Cyprus problem.
“I would like to note that if all parties involved show the same constructive approach to the Secretary General’s call, then yes, there are prospects ahead for the resumption of talks from where they stopped at Crans – Montana,” he said.

He expressed hope that all parties will show “the same political will and determination that we have shown”. Asked whic agenda is the Secretary General likely to include in a possible informal five-party meeting, President Anastasiades said that “the Secretary General wanted to be briefed on our positions which are clear, as they were conveyed in my address at the United Nations (General Assembly).”

He was absolutely satisfied and his intention is to be substantively involved and to contribute so that the conditions for the resumption of a substantive and creative dialogue can be created. As far as the five-party meeting is concerned there are other important matters such as the procedural matters, the methodology which will be followed and others, he added.

Replying to a question as to whether he would reject the idea of discussing the type of solution in an informal five-party meeting President Anastasiades said that “our position was clear, as I put it during my address at the General Assembly.”

“The basis of the Cyprus problem solution constitutes of the United Nations resolutions, and the Republic of Cyprus’ evolution to a bizonal, bicommunal federation, with a single sovereignty, a single international personality and a single nationality,” he pointed out.

The Cyprus President also referred to what happened in Crans -Montana and Turkey’s demands and persistence for the continuation of guarantees and a permanent presence of Turkish troops on the island.

“There was also an obsession on the matter of political equality which is a point of misinterpretation,” he said, adding that “by demanding to have a positive vote in essence the conditions are created allowing one community to impose its will on the other.” Let them indicate one state with such Constitutional provisions, he noted.

Asked why Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu insists on a five-party meeting to clarify the solution basis, President Anastasiades said that “it is likely that he wants to put forward on the table what he told us in private, that he preferred a two-state solution. My answer in order to overcome the deadlock was that we have the option of a decentralized federation, we have the option of a parliamentary democracy and we have the option of the Belgian model,” he pointed out, adding that “I never strayed from the bizonal, bicommunal federation.”

“They were alternative proposals or thoughts to overcome the deadlock created as a result of obstinacies; And it was the Secretary- General’s invitation to put forward new ideas on the table without hesitation which would help overcome the problems,” he said.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
Varosha the fenced off section of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, often described as ‘ghost town’. UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984) considers any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN. UN Security Council resolution 789 (1992) also urges that with a view to the implementation of resolution 550 (1984), the area at present under the control of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus be extended to include Varosha.
Efforts over the years for the legitimate citizens of Famagusta to return to the city have met with the refusal of the Turkish side, despite numerous decisions and resolutions by the UN, EU and other international institutions.

Kudret Ozersay, the “foreign minister” of the illegal regime in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus, arranged in late August a press visit for Turkish Cypriot and Turkish journalists and media in the fenced – off part of Famagusta for the first time in 45 years and has said that he will gradually open the city. Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has also made recently statements to that effect.

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