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    Nicosia expects UN to maintain position on Varosha based on Security Council decisions

    The government said on Friday that it expected from the UN to maintain their long-standing position with regard to the ghost-town of Maras/Famagusta, that is consistent with the UN Security Council decisions which are explicit and are now blatantly violated through the announcement made in the Turkish areas of Cyprus

    In statements to the media on Friday, Prodromos Prodromou noted that the long-standing UN position, based on what was agreed between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot side, when the talks on the Cyprus problem began, after 1974, was explicit, saying that the fenced-off town of Famagusta Maras(Varosha) must return to its lawful inhabitants and that the rights of the legal owners of the properties there must be restored.

    Prodromou said that Nicos Anastasiades sent on June 26 a letter to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in which he explained that the plans announced recently in the Turkish areas of Cyprus, concerning Maras/Varosha, constitute part of Turkey’s plan B, after the deadlock at the Conference on Cyprus in Crans-Montana.

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    The Spokesman also said that the President has put again forward the proposal he submitted recently in writing to Mustafa Akinci, to set up a technical committee for the restoration and reconstruction of the fenced-off city of Famagusta, that will be financed by the EU and will technically be facilitated by the UN so that the demilitarization of Famagusta will be ensured.

    He also stressed that Anastasiades expects from the UN to support this proposal that he has made in the framework of the Confidence Building Measures, so that a technical committee will be set up immediately with a view to facilitating the implementation of the UN Security Council decisions and not the plans of the Turkish Cypriot regime on Famagusta.

    Prodromou said that Anastasiades referred in his letter to the UNSG in the announcements made on Famagusta in the Turkish areas, stressing that such actions violate the 1977-1979 High-Level Agreements and the four relevant UN Security Council decisions adopted from 1977 until 1992, which provide that the lawful inhabitants must return and re-settle to the fenced-off city, under UN control.

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    The spokesman also said that the Anastasiades recalled all the UNSG’s reports which refer to the special status of Maras/Varosha and to Turkey’s responsibility, as the city is controlled by the Turkish army.

    Prodromou noted that Anastasiades reiterated in his letter his commitment and readiness to work with the UN and the Secretary-General for the resumption of the negotiations on the Cyprus problem.

    The spokesman elaborated in his statements on the actions undertaken so far by Anastasiades on the issue of Famagusta, noting that Nicosia is seeking to get support not only from the UN but from other foreign actors as well.

    The “council of ministers” of the Turkish Cypriot regime decided on June 18 to establish a committee of experts for conducting a “scientific inventory study” in the city.

    Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

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    Maras/Varosha , the fenced – off part of the once-thriving holiday resort of Famagusta, on the eastern coast of Cyprus, has been sealed since 1974, and according to the UN, the Turkish military is responsible for it. Repeated attempts to hand the area to UN administration and its legal inhabitants have so far failed due to the stance of the Turkish army.

    UNSC resolution 550 (1984) ‘considers attempts to settle any part of Maras/Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the United Nations’.

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