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25 July, 2024
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Famagusta mayor pushing for return of town

Alexis Galanos doing the rounds in Brussels ahead of Turkey annual report


Famagusta Mayor Alexis Galanos has received reassurances by MEP Kati Piri that a call for the return of the town will be part of her annual report, due out later this year.

Galanos met Piri, the Dutch Social Democrat MEP, who is Turkey`s pre-accession rapporteur for the European Parliament, during a three day visit to Brussels. The mayor exchanged views with EU Commissioner Christos Stylianides, the President of the EP petitions committee, GUE chair Gabi Zimmer, the Cypriot MEPs and EPP "shadow rapporteur" on Turkey`s EU accession Renate Sommer.

Galanos told the press in Brussels that "shadow rapporteur" Sommers agrees with the inclusion of the Famagusta case in the EP report. He also told journalists that "Mrs Piri is always positive and has always kept her word."

The Mayor noted that the European Parliament`s rapporteur "understands the humanitarian significance of the Famagusta issue and the legal significance of the resolutions and decisions of the UN Security Council."

"The goal is a viable and functional solution"

"The first that should implement these resolutions is the UN Secretary-General," he said, clarifying that he was referring to resolutions 550 and 689 and stressing that "the UNSG has to put more effort."

In response to a question, Galanos said Sommer on behalf of the European People`s Party is equally supportive, nothing however that the problem is decades old.
 "There is a tiredness, because the Cyprus problem is going on for years, we are all tired of Turkish intransigence," Galanos said.

Asked to say what he expects from a visit of the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament to Cyprus and their attempt to see Famagusta, in early May, Galanos said that "the fact that the Committee on Petitions visits Cyprus, with a mission involving eight MEP’s, from initially just two who had been involved, is important" and explained how equally important is that they intend to draft a report and bring the matter before the plenary.

The mayor recalled that "there are already decisions by the European Parliament" adding that "the matter has been referred to the Council of the Member States, so we expect results, but this depends on Turkey."

"Now we expect the procedures to lead to some implementation of past decisions," he said, adding that "the new report by the Committee cannot be different, it will be at least the same. The goal is a viable and functional solution," he said.

The town of Famagusta has been fenced off and under direct control of the Turkish military, when Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 after a short-lived coup engineered by Athens. The island remains divided to this day.

Cyprus  |  Famagusta  |  Galanos  |  Piri  |  EU  |  ghost town

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