President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has said on Saturday that he intends to present a complete proposal to the European Council on the need for initiatives on the part of Europe for a Cyprus settlement and adopting substantial confidence-building measures (CBMs).

Speaking in Limassol after the inauguration of the volunteers’ monument, President Anastasiades also said calls for Greek Cypriots to resort to the `immovable property commission` or `IPC` was indeed a trap, as it was proved by its decision to name EVKAF an interested party in the fenced-off areas of Famagusta. Turkish Cypriot religious endowment foundation EVKAF claims ownership of a large part of the properties in Varosha.

Answering questions, the President also said there is no news regarding the appointment of a new envoy for Cyprus by the UN Secretary-General.

“You all know that we had accepted the SG’s position”, he said, adding that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots’ refusal shows who is responsible for the lack of dialogue and the collapse of the talks. The President expressed the hope that “the efforts we are undertaking will bear fruit”.

The terms of reference to be given, he said, must be such to finally allow at least the creation of a climate or conditions for the resumption of the dialogue that will lead to a functional, viable solution, based on the High-Level agreements and UN resolutions.

Asked what will be the next step, President Anastasiades said it will be “the presentation of a complete proposal to the European Council for the need for Europe to undertake an initiative for a solution to the Cyprus problem and the adoption of essential confidence-building measures that will restore, first of all, trust and secondly, pave the way for a new, constructive dialogue.”

Regarding the IPC’s decision to consider EVKAF an interested party in the fenced-off area of Famagusta, President Anastasiades said that from the start, when Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, had invited residents and owners of properties in the fenced-off area for resettlement, “we had warned that it was a trap”.
By accepting EVKAF as an interested party, it is nothing but a reconfirmation of the decision taken in the past, that deems EVKAF to have had ownership of areas in the fenced-off town. Therefore, said President Anastasiades, caution is necessary, despite the calls for the opposite. He also said that those who insisted that the legal residents should appeal to the `committee` for so-called compensation or restitution of ownership of their properties are now contradicted.
Replying to questions, President Anastasiades said because the situation worries the government, “we have not stopped acting in every way to secure the rights of all those who are covered by resolutions 550 and 789 who are the owners and legal residents of the fenced-off town and the rest of the areas”.

We are undertaking initiatives and will continue through diplomatic means to achieve justice, he added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Varosha, the fenced-off section of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, is often described as a ‘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.
Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, announced in July 2021 a partial lifting of the military status in Varosha. On October 8, 2020, the Turkish side opened part of the fenced area of Varosha, following an announcement made in Ankara on October 6. Both the UN Secretary-General and the EU expressed concern, while the UN Security Council called for the reversal of this course of action. In his latest report to the Security Council, UN Secretary-General Guterres underlines the importance of adhering fully to UN resolutions, underscoring that the position of the United Nations on this matter “remains unchanged.”

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