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Source: European Parliament


European Parliament resolution on escalating tensions in Varosha following the illegal actions by Turkey and the urgent need for the resumption of talks


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its declaration of 14 February 2012 on the return of the sealed-off section of Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants[1],

 having regard to its resolution of 13 March 2019 on the 2018 Commission Report on Turkey[2],

 having regard to the statement of 6 October 2020 by the Vice-President / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on the developments around Varosha,

 having regard to the declaration of 13 October 2020 by the VP/HR on behalf of the European Union on the developments around Varosha,

 having regard to the Joint Statement of 20 October 2020 by the VP/HR and Commissioner Ferreira on the electoral process in the Turkish Cypriot community,

 having regard to the statement of 15 November 2020 by the VP/HR on Varosha,

 having regard to the statement of 6 October 2020 by the Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General on Varosha,

 having regard to the statement of 9 October 2020 by the President of the UN Security Council regarding the situation in Cyprus,

 having regard to the UN Cyprus reunification plan, also known as the Annan Plan, which was rejected by referendum in 2004,

 having regard to the relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, in particular Resolution 550 (1984) and Resolution 789 (1992),

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas on 6 October 2020, five days prior to the Presidential elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Prime Minister and presidential candidate Ersin Tatar announced that parts of the Varosha beachfront area and the main street in the Cypriot city of Famagusta would reopen as of 8 October 2020; whereas on 8 October 2020, parts of Varosha were opened to everybody; whereas Ersin Tatar won the second round of Presidential elections on 18 October 2020;

B. whereas during the 1974 tensions between Greece and Turkey, following a military invasion of Cyprus by Turkey, thousands of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots were displaced or forced to flee their homes, including from Famagusta; whereas the Varosha area was then sealed off and closed by the Turkish army, and has remained uninhabited and under the direct control of the Turkish army;

C. whereas UNSC Resolution 550 (1984) considers ‘attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of that area to the administration of the United Nations’; whereas UNSC Resolution 789 (1992) asks that the area at present under the control of the United Nations Peace-Keeping Force in Cyprus be extended to include Varosha’;

D. whereas the return of the sealed-off section of Varosha to its lawful inhabitants would facilitate efforts towards the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem;

E. whereas the Government of the Republic of Cyprus has called on the UN Security Council to address whether the opening of the Varosha beachfront is admissible under international law;

F. whereas on 3 November 2020 the Greek Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiades, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, met in the capital Nicosia in an encounter convened by the United Nations, and expressed their determination to positively respond to the UN Secretary-General’s commitment to convene fresh talks about the island;

G. whereas on 15 November 2020, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Varosha as part of the celebrations marking the 37th anniversary of The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’s unilateral declaration of independence;

1. Expresses its deep concern over the decision to proceed with the opening of part of the fenced-off area of Varosha, as of 8 October 2020;

2. Calls for the reversal of the aforementioned decision and underlines the importance of compliance with and implementation of the relevant UNSC resolutions and to avoid any unilateral actions that could lead to further tensions on the island;

3. Calls on the Turkish Government to transfer the sealed-off area of Famagusta to the UN, in accordance with UNSC Resolution 550 (1984) and to return Varosha to its lawful inhabitants, who must resettle under conditions of security and peace;

4. Underlines the urgent need for a settlement of the island’s future; welcomes, in this light, the recent meeting between the two leaders under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General and their determination to engage in fresh talks on the reunification of Cyprus;

5. Calls for the EU to play a more active role in supporting the negotiations, including by appointing a representative to the UN Good Offices mission;

6. Reiterates its support for a fair, comprehensive and viable settlement on the basis of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with a single international legal personality, single sovereignty and single citizenship, and with political equality between the two communities, as defined by the relevant UNSC resolutions, in accordance with international law and the EU acquis;

7. Calls on the UN mission in Cyprus to step up its efforts in monitoring developments in Varosha;

8. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the European External Action Service, the Commission, the UN Secretary-General, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Government and Parliament of the Republic of Turkey.


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