The European Union (EU) has threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey if plans to reopen Maraş/Varosha go ahead, Yeniduzen reported on Tuesday.
The fenced off Famagusta suburb has been closed for the past 47 years. In October, 2020, the some streets in the town and a section of beach were reopened to tourists and locals
During his visit to North Cyprus for Bayram, Turkish President Erdoğan announced that 3.5 percent of Maraş would be handed back to the civilian government and opened up.
EU High Representative for Foreign Relations and Security Policy Josep Borrell responded by making a statement yesterday on behalf of the EU saying the following:
“The EU, regarding the unilateral steps taken by Turkey and the reopening of the fenced-off town of Varosha, strongly condemns statements made by the President of Turkey and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community on 20 July 2021”.
Borrell said that the EU welcomes the United Nations (UN) Security Council’s decision to “condemn the unilateral actions” in Maraş. “The EU demands that these actions and all the steps taken in Varosha since October 2020 be immediately reversed. We are determined to use the tools and options at our disposal to defend EU interests and maintain regional stability“, said Borrell.
He went on to say, “The EU continues to hold the Turkish government responsible for the situation in Varosha“.
Borrell emphasised that unilateral actions violating international law and new provocations that could jeopardize the efforts to find common ground in the Cyprus issue should be avoided, “unless it withdraws its actions contrary to the UN Security Council resolutions 550/84 and 789/92“.
He said that EU ministers will review the situation at the next meeting scheduled for 3-4 September in Slovenia.