Famagusta local authorities express hope for the resumption of the Cyprus peace talks

Famagusta local authorities have conveyed to Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades the hope that at a dinner he will have with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci a common basis will be found for the resumption of the reunification talks.

In statements after the meetings the President had with the municipal authorities and the local communities in the Turkish occupied district of Famagusta, the city mayor Alexis Galanos said that President Anastasiades will go the dinner with a positive approach and in good spirits so that Cyprus talks can resume.

Galanos noted that refugees, who have suffered and continue to suffer more than anyone else, are the first to be interested in a solution of the Cyprus problem and they are fully aware that time is not on their side.

This, he added, does not mean that unacceptable concessions should be made.

Galanos noted that during the meeting the matter of the fenced off part of Famagusta, known as Varosha, was discussed. Famagusta, he pointed out, is not a mere confidence building measure but rather it constitutes a priority which was also noted by the United Nations in the Security Council resolutions 550 and 789.

He recalled that a proposal has been put forward to launch a study for the resettlement of the city under the supervision of the United Nations, the opening of the port under EU guidance and terms and the development of the medieval part of the city, which was not accepted by the Turkish Cypriot side. The proposal, he said, is still a reasonable position which could be put forward again at the negotiating table and could enjoy the support of the EU and other interested parties.

The Mayor also said that on May 7 and 8 a delegation of members of the European Parliament’s Petitions Committee will be in Cyprus and will try to enter the fenced � off part of the city, adding that hopes that they will be allowed to do so are not great.

Varosha, was part of the once thriving holiday resort of Famagusta, on the eastern coast of Cyprus, has been fenced off since the 1974 Turkish invasion and according to the UN the Turkish military is responsible for it. Repeated attempts to hand the fenced off area of Famagusta � known as Varosha � to UN administration and its Greek Cypriot legal inhabitants have so far failed due to the stance of the Turkish army.

President Anastasiades and Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem. The latest round of talks took place in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana but failed to yield any results.

UN talks aim at reuniting Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, under a federal roof.

Source: Cyprus News Agency