Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Geneva on Monday.
In a written statement, Christodoulides said “I had the opportunity to discuss and exchange views with the UNSG, regarding illegal Turkish activities in the Cyprus exclusive economic zone (EEZ)…as well as the Turkey’s actions and statements regarding the fenced-off city of Varosha.”
Turkey along with several Turkish Cypriot politicians have repeatedly stated their plans to resettle the ghost town that was abandoned 46 years ago following the Turkish invasion on July 20, 1974. Since then, Varosha in the northern section of Famagusta has remained a military zone.
Tension spiked once again earlier this month after a meeting organized by the Turkish Union of Bar Associations and attended by several top Turkish Cypriot politicians. The meeting was reproached by both President Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
Reports emerged last Thursday that President Nicos Anastasiades has requested UN help through a letter to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to set up a bicommunal committee on Varosha, as part of a confidence-building measure (CBM).
According to UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984) any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants is inadmissible. It also calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN. Resolution 789 (1992) says that the area at present under the control of UNFICYP should be extended to include Varosha.
Christodoulides said that his discussion with Guterres also touched on the “the memorandums signed between Turkey and Libya, while the SG also referred to migration and to the serious challenges being faced by the Republic of Cyprus.”