PSEKA applauds the Resolution of the Council of Europe to return Varosha to its legal residents.

PACE adopts resolution for return of Varosha to its legal residents

The plenary of the parliamentary assembly of the council of Europe (PACE) approved the resolution of its Rapporteur Piero Fassino for the people of Varosha to return to their legal residences, it was announced on Friday.
The resolution was approved with a significant majority with only Turkish MPs voting against it.

In addition to refuting Turkish claims, Greek Cypriot MPs highlighted the dangers posed by Turkey’s ongoing unilateral partial re-opening of the closed city.

The act was condemned as having the negative consequence of prolonging the stalemate in the Cyprus problem and as an unacceptable and unsustainable situation.  

Cypriot MP of the PACE delegation, Giorgos Loukaides spoke decisively in favour of the resolution’s adoption.

The fait accompli imposed by the occupying power on Varosha was “the worst since the illegal declaration of the pseudo-state in 1983,” Loukaides told attendees.


Turkey’s actions in Famagusta are illegal and conflict with resolutions 550 and 789 of the UN Security Council which call for the return of the city to its legal owners, under the administration of the United Nations, the MP said.
If what was done in Famagusta was not revoked it may “become the tombstone” of efforts to restart talks and achieve a comprehensive solution, he added.

Seen in the wider context of Turkey and its “chosen” Turkish Cypriot actors’ drive to deviate from the agreed framework, the risks for Cyprus and its people are maximised, the MP said.

The adopted resolution makes clear reference to invasion and occupation in the context of Cyprus and the special circumstance of Famagusta and calls for a revocation of Turkey’s illegal actions which it judges as an impediment to the resumption of talks based on the UN framework.

“The resolution considers as the only feasible solution the return of the city to its legal inhabitants, through the implementation of resolutions 550 and 789 of the United Nations Security Council or as part of a package of confidence-building measures, thus strengthening efforts to achieve a comprehensive solution,” PACE said.

Support was expressed at the same time for efforts made by UNSG personal envoy Maria Angela Holguin towards restarting negotiations.
Moreover, the resolution called on Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership to implement the Famagusta-related UN resolutions and return to the talks.

It added that the ongoing division of Cyprus endangers stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and reiterated the principled position of the EU council for the reunification of Cyprus and the achievement of a fair, lasting and comprehensive solution, ensuring the legitimate interests of the two communities.

Meanwhile, MP Giorgos Stamatis was appointed to speak on the resolution’s adoption on behalf of the European People’s Party (EPP).
“For 50 years Turkey has been violating human rights in a part of the island with the result that Nicosia remains to this day the only divided European capital,” Stamatis said.

He pointed out that the international community is “calling for the withdrawal of Turkish troops from the region and the return of Varoshians to their legal residence.”  Turkey, he added, with its unilateral actions, is violating international law and UN resolutions in its effort to impose a two-state solution.

The highest duty of the council of Europe is to take political initiatives to prevent the re-heating of long term conflicts, Stamatis said, drawing a parallel with Ukraine.

The Fassino report advances the cause for a united Cyprus for the benefit of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots with full respect for their rights, international law, and the European acquis, he said.

“In the context of respecting international resolutions [and laws], Turkish forces must be withdrawn from the region and Varosha must be returned to its legal inhabitants,” the MP concluded.

The article was published in the Cyprus-mail on 06/28/204