The presidential statement approved by the 15 members of the Security Council affirmed that “no action should be taken in relation to Varosha, which does not comply with its resolutions”.
“The security Council condemns the announcement made in Cyprus by the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leaders on July 20, 2021 on the continued reopening of part of the fenced area of Varosha, ”the statement continued.
“The Security Council expresses its deep regret over these unilateral actions which go against its previous resolutions and declarations. ”
The statement calls for “the immediate reversal of this course of action and the reversal of all measures taken on Varosha since October 2020”.
The statement followed a closed-door briefing earlier today by outgoing United Nations Special Representative Elizabeth Spehar.
The Mediterranean island has been divided between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities for 47 years, and a 1964 Security Council resolution recommended the creation of a peacekeeping force to maintain public order and help put end to inter-community conflicts.
According to media reports, Greek Cypriot leaders on Wednesday appealed to the Council over plans by the Turkish Cypriot authorities to return a 1.35 square mile section of Varosha from military control to civilian control, and open it to possible resettlement.
The self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is backed by Turkey, made the initial announcement a day earlier that part of the suburb would come under civilian control.
Wednesday, the UN Secretary General António Guterres expressed deep concern over Wednesday’s announcements by Turkey and Turkish Cypriot leaders on the reopening of Varosha, and said the UN position “remains unchanged and is guided by relevant Security Council resolutions”.
In a statement released by his deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, Guterres called on all parties “to refrain from unnecessary action and engage in dialogue to bring peace and prosperity to the island through a global settlement “.
“The Secretary-General has repeatedly called on all parties to refrain from unilateral actions which cause tensions and could undermine ongoing efforts to seek common ground between the parties for a lasting settlement of the Cypriot question ”.
The Security Council’s declaration concluded with a reaffirmation of its commitment “to a lasting, comprehensive and just settlement, in accordance with the wishes of the Cypriot people, and based on a bicommunal, bi-horizontal federation, with political equality. “.