In a message of unwavering support for the people of Famagusta, the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, stressed that the European Parliament’s stance on the reunification of Cyprus remains steadfast and she expressed the need for the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus and the return of refugees.
According to a press release issued by the Famagusta Association of Great Britain and its President Vasilis Mavros, Metsola responded to a letter of complaint sent by the Association as part of their ongoing campaign for Cyprus.
Metsola assured that the violations and threats by the Turks, especially in Famagusta and the buffer zone, were being taken seriously both by herself and the entire European Parliament.
Furthermore, the President of the European Parliament strongly condemned any unilateral hostile actions, such as the recent attack by Turkish Cypriots on members of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus following the commencement of illegal construction work in the buffer zone near the village of Pyla. She also condemned Turkish plans to build an Islamic Mosque within the grounds of the Apostle Andreas Monastery in occupied Karpasia.
“The President of the European Parliament stated that the European Parliament’s position regarding the reunification of Cyprus remains unchanged, supporting a just, comprehensive, and viable settlement based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation with a single international legal personality, single sovereignty, and single citizenship, as well as political equality between the two communities,” says Famagusta Association.
Additionally, Metsola highlighted the importance of appointing a UN envoy, as proposed by the UN Secretary-General and supported by members of the UN Security Council, which she noted, could mark significant progress towards the resumption of official negotiations.
The President of the European Parliament also emphasized key points from the recent progress report on EU-Turkey relations approved by the European Parliament on September 13, 2023.
These key points included calls for Turkey to respect the historical, cultural, and religious significance of monuments and symbols in occupied Cyprus, condemnation of illegal construction in Pyla, and denouncement of attacks on UN peacekeeping forces.
The EP also expressed deep concern over Turkey’s abandonment of the agreed settlement framework and the UN’s two-state solution proposal for Cyprus, urging Turkey to withdraw this unacceptable proposition.
Furthermore, EP urged Turkey to withdraw its military presence from Cyprus and refrain from unilateral actions that would perpetuate the island’s division or alter its demographic makeup. The European Parliament called for the urgent resumption of negotiations for Cyprus reunification under the guidance of the UN Secretary-General, building upon the progress made during the Crans-Montana talks in 2017.
In her closing remarks, Metsola reaffirmed the European Parliament’s unwavering commitment to solidarity and determination in the pursuit of peace in Europe’s last divided nation, Cyprus.
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.