Today, the Socialists and Democrats supported the European Parliament’s resolution to condemn the illegal ‘opening’ of Varosha, a coastal part of the city of Famagusta. It has been has been sealed-off and remained uninhabited under the direct control of the Turkish military since Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974. Turkish action is a clear violation of international law and UN resolutions aimed at reuniting the island that further undermines mutual trust and the prospects of a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.
Nacho Sánchez Amor MEP, EP rapporteur on Turkey and S&D negotiator on this file, said:
“We reiterate today our condemnation of the illegal actions by Turkey in Varosha as a clear violation of international law and call for the reversal of these decisions. It is extremely clear that Turkish authorities have not even tried to justify themselves on any grounds. What started as an electoral stunt has now become an operation to change the status quo, and advance de-facto towards a two state solution for Cyprus that goes against all relevant UNSC resolutions. These actions further undermine mutual trust and the prospects of a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.
“The toughened position expressed today by the European Parliament, calling on the Council to impose strong sanctions, reflects the current much deteriorated state of our relations in the face of successive unilateral and illegal actions by Turkey. However, there is a way out of this; the Parliament has also stressed it: dialogue, diplomacy, good will, progress on the ground and respect of international law. It is up to Turkey to decide which path they choose.”
S&D spokesperson on foreign affairs, Tonino Picula MEP, added:
“We condemn the recent statements by the president of Turkey during his visit to Varosha, which revealed Ankara’s ‘road map’ for the illegal settlement of the sealed-off city, and his support for the permanent partition of Cyprus.
“The S&D Group will continue to support a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem, and a reunification based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality, within the United Nations framework. The EU and our member states should play a more active role in bringing negotiations under UN auspices to a successful conclusion.
“We are also looking forward to the assessment of the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and our relations with Turkey by the European Council at the December summit. Turkey and its president only have a short time to avoid further sanctions for which we need their sincere cooperation.”