The Foreign Ministers of the Commonwealth member states, having been briefed by their Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides, have issued a statement in which they reaffirm the status of Varosha as set out in relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, including Resolutions 550 (1984), 789 (1992) and 2587 (2021).
They express “deep regret” regarding unilateral actions that run contrary to previous UNSC resolutions and statements on Varosha and reiterate the call made by the UN Security Council for the immediate reversal of this course of action.
In this regard, they support and reiterate the call made by the UN Security Council in its Presidential Statements of 23 July 2021 and 9 October 2020 following announcements on Varosha by Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leaders. ‘We underscore the importance of full respect and implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions,” the statement adds.
The Ministers also state that they support the commitment reaffirmed by the UN Security Council to an enduring, comprehensive and just settlement in accordance with the wishes of the Cypriot people and based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as set out in relevant Security Council resolutions.
They recall communiques of the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meetings and reaffirm their full and enduring support for the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Cyprus.
Finally, they reiterate their support for the resumption of negotiations, under the auspices of the UN Secretary General’s Good Offices Mission, for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem based on the UN Charter and the UN Security Council’s Resolutions on Cyprus.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island`s northern third. Numerous rounds of talks under the UN aegis to reunite the island under a federal roof failed to yield results.
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. 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