Reopening Varosha/Maraş should serve as part of the solution to the Cyprus problem, not ensure permanent partition, President Mustafa Akinci has said.
Incumbent President Akinci, who was on a pre-election tour of North Cyprus villages said, “If we want a solution in Cyprus, we must use the issue of fenced-off Varosha to help the solution, not to prevent the solution.”
Noting that both the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, who are both running in the presidential elections, are competing with each other to open Varosha first, Akinci said that it is not right to use Varosha as a tool in the election campaign.
Referring to the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean, Akinci said that the way to end this tension is through the resolution of the Cyprus problem and reminded that after the elections, another solution to the Cyprus problem will “knock on our door.” something that if it happens, will be for the benefit of all parties and especially of the two communities in Cyprus.
“Either we will meet around a choice that could be accepted by all sides and we will walk this path, or the division of Cyprus will become permanent. This is the course in the event of no solution,” he stated, adding that they do not want the second outcome, since it will not benefit the whole of Cyprus or Turkey.
Akinci noted that the issue of the Varosha concerns international law and there are many references to it in the UN Security Council resolutions. He said that in every step taken by the Turkish Cypriot people, they must observe international law and take into account the international community and the United Nations. He also mentioned the following:
“Of course we did not want Varosha to remain closed for 46 years. However, the right thing to do in the case of Varosha is to handle the matter in a way that will contribute to the solution in Cyprus in harmony with international law and the United Nations. It is not possible to manage and lead to a result excluding the presidency of a democracy from such an important issue as Varosha.”