Cyprus` Foreign Affairs Minister Ioannis Kasoulides conveyed to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken President Nicos Anastasiades` proposal on the fenced-off part of the Turkish occupied city of Famagusta, known as Varosha, in a meeting they had on Tuesday, in Washington, the Ministry`s spokesperson Demetris Demetriou has said.

In statements to CNA about the meeting, Demetriou said it was “very good meeting.”

Blinken, he noted, congratulated Kasoulides on his return to the Foreign Ministry and reiterated the US commitment to deepen cooperation with the Republic of Cyprus.

Among other things, he added, the two officials discussed the 3 + 1 mechanism with Greece and Israel and expressed “their common opinion for a return to the agreement on political dynamics.”

The two Ministers, Demetriou said, discussed a number of bilateral and regional issues, including the importance of coordinating actions in support of Ukraine`s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“They also stressed the importance of increasing scientific cooperation on issues such as climate change and emerging technologies through the forthcoming signing of a bilateral Science and Technology Agreement,” he added.

He further noted that the US Secretary of State expressed “the United States` continued support for efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue under the auspices of the United Nations, the solution of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality for the benefit of all Cypriots and Kasoulides conveyed the Cypriot Republic’s President’s proposal for the Varosha issue.

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.”

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.

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