Statements on Varosha from the U.S. State Department and from the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Transfer of Parts of Varosha to Turkish Cypriot Control
ANTHONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE
JULY 20, 2021
The United States condemns the announcement by Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today regarding the transfer of parts of Varosha to Turkish Cypriot control. This move is clearly inconsistent with UN Security Council Resolutions 550 and 789, which explicitly call for Varosha to be administered by the United Nations.
Since October 2020 when Turkish Cypriots, with the support of Turkey, announced the opening of the Varosha beachfront and began taking actions to implement this decision, Turkish Cypriots and Turkey have ignored calls from the international community and the UN Security Council to reverse their unilateral steps on Varosha. The United States views Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha, with the support of Turkey, as provocative, unacceptable, and incompatible with their past commitments to engage constructively in settlement talks. We urge Turkish Cypriots and Turkey to reverse their decision announced today and all steps taken since October 2020.
The United States is working with like-minded partners to refer this concerning situation to the UN Security Council and will urge a strong response.
We underscore the importance of avoiding provocative unilateral actions that increase tensions on the island and hinder efforts to resume Cyprus settlement talks in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions. We remain supportive of a Cypriot-led comprehensive settlement to reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation to benefit all Cypriots and the wider region.
Chairman Menendez: Erdogan’s Announced Plans for Greek Cypriot Suburb Can Not Stand
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2021
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement in response to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s speech in Cyprus, where he announced he would step up his campaign to undermine the island’s peace negotiations by opening the coastline of Varosha in direct violation of multiple United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions:
“As Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, I condemn President Erdogan’s plans to develop Varosha and promote a separate state in the north of Cyprus.
“On this somber anniversary of Turkey’s illegal invasion of Cyprus, we are reminded how the events of 1974 only served to presage Turkey’s increasingly aggressive and dangerous posture against U.S. national security interests and those of our closest allies and partners. To be clear, Turkey’s invasion and illegal occupation in the north of Cyprus is in violation of international law and must end. But in explicitly calling for two states on the island and planning to develop Varosha despite United Nations resolutions seeking special status for the area, Ankara not only threatens the Republic of Cyprus, but the security of the entire region.
“Simply put, Erdogan is no friend of the United States. I look forward to working with Secretary Blinken to explore new measures that the Biden administration can take to ensure President Erdogan faces additional consequences for violating international law, and for his brazen determination to rob Cypriots from controlling their own destiny. The United States must not waver in our firm commitment to help end the tragic division of this island nation. It is incumbent on us to make sure the world is watching, and that Ankara is held accountable.”