The draft UN Security Council resolution calls on Turkey and Turkish Cypriots to back down from their decision to reopen a residential area in an abandoned area and to refrain from unilateral action that could escalate tensions on the divided Mediterranean island.
The Associated Press reports that 15 members of the UN body are expected to consider the British statement, and if there is no opposition to it, the statement will be approved today (Thursday).
The statement follows a closed-door meeting of the Security Council on Wednesday at the request of the outgoing UN special envoy. The meeting quoted Turkish Cypriot leader Arsin Tatar as saying on Tuesday that 3.5 square kilometers of the Varosha region would be converted from a military to a civilian. His remarks came ahead of a military parade attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to mark the 47th anniversary of Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus.
The island of Cyprus was divided into two parts, Turkish Cypriot in the north and Greek Cypriot in the south, which was recognized by the international community in 1974 after the Turkish invasion, which was provoked by a coup to unite Cyprus with Greece.
Several rounds of UN-mediated negotiations for the reunification of Cyprus have ended in failure. Varosha, known as the City of Ghosts, is located in Famagusta and was a tourist attraction in Cyprus before 1974. The area was closed until about 15,000 residents of Varosha fled as Turkish forces advanced, until last year when Turkish and Turkish Cypriot officials announced its reopening.
The Security Council requested that in addition to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s ongoing inspections in Iran, that it monitor Iran’s compliance with “the steps required by the IAEA Board”. According to a resolution of May 11, 1984, the Security Council declared any attempt to use Varosha by a non-resident population “unacceptable” and insisted that the area be transferred to the United Nations. The September 14, 1992 resolution also calls for the implementation of the 1984 resolution and the expansion of control of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus to include Varosha.
The draft reaffirms the importance of implementing Security Council resolutions to bring Varosha under UN control.