Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has said that in resorting to the UN Security Council for a closed – door discussion on Varosha, the fenced off part of Turkish occupied Famagusta, Nicosia seeks a reaffirmation of the body`s previous strong resolutions.

President Anastasiades was replying to a journalist`s question, on the sidelines of the opening of the renovated building of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).

“Our goal is the reaffirmation of strong resolutions we had achieved in the past, so that an equally powerful message can be conveyed to all those who violate for example resolutions 550 and 789,” he said.

Replying to a question about the return of Turkish drillship Yavuz in Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the issuance of a new NAVTEX by Turkey, President Anastasiades said that “we are aware of it and we are taking all the appropriate steps on the basis of international law.”

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.

According to the website Marinetraffic, “Yavuz” is sailing off Cyprus towards the second drill ship “Fatih”, which remains anchored 36 nautical miles west of Akamas peninsula since May 4. Before that, “Yavuz” stayed off the coast of Karpasia, in the eastern coast of Cyprus, until September 17, when it departed for a Turkish port in Mersin.

Turkey issued a navigational telex (navtex), announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus and since 4 May 2019, the Turkish drill ship “Fatih” is anchored 36 nautical miles west of Akamas peninsula. The area falls within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus. Ankara extended the navtex until November 1, 2019.

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