UK Cypriot Federation President urges PM Johnson to support principled positions on Cyprus

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been urged by the President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK to support positions of principle and to exercise his power regarding the Cyprus issue.

In a letter addressed to Mr Johnson ahead of the 47th tragic anniversary of the Turkish invasion and start of occupation of Cyprus, Mr Christos Karaolis stresses that to the Cyprus issue solution must be based on the internationally accepted and agreed model of a bi-zonal, bi- communal federation with political equality and a single sovereignty, single international personality and single citizenship – as defined by relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and the High-Level Agreements.

He further notes that substantive negotiations on the Cyprus issue must resume from the point at which they were left off in Crans Montana in 2017; that a reunified Cyprus should be a functional state and a continuation of the Republic of Cyprus, which, among else, is “the only way” of protecting the military and defence interests of the United Kingdom in the island; that any attempt to create fait accomplis must be strongly opposed and prevented, with most pressing the issue of the illegal

re-opening of the Varosha beachfront; that the EU must be allowed to play an active role in the negotiations; and that the guarantees are abolished.

Karaolis informs Johnson that more than 70% of UK MPs have been urged by thousands of British voters over the last six weeks to support the aforementioned positions, as part of the Federation’s online campaign #HandsOffCyprus.

The letter notes that many members of the Cypriot Diaspora are refugees and relatives of missing persons, and that they all remain steadfast in their belief that a reunited Cyprus where all Cypriots could peacefully live and prosper together is “both attainable and viable”.

The Federation President highlights Turkey’s responsibility in not having achieved a settlement, and the UN Secretary-General’s public statements that the “two state solution” proposal by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar is contrary to UN Security Council resolutions and outside his mandate.

He welcomes the UK Foreign Secretary’s participation in the recent informal meeting on Cyprus in Geneva and acknowledges the British government’s clear support for a solution in line with UN Security Council resolutions.

Karaolis underlines the “critical role” the UK Government has to play in persuading Turkey to engage constructively in the next informal meeting and ensure that the Turkish side tables proposals that are within the agreed parameters of UN Security Council Resolutions.

He also expresses the UK Cypriot community’s “deep concern” by President Erdogan’s “increasingly aggressive and authoritarian policies” towards Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean region, and describes as “unfortunate” Mr Tatar’s choice to “increase tensions” and “further poison” the negotiating climate.

“Moreover, President Erdogan’s reported visit to the occupied part of Cyprus, on this tragic anniversary, accompanied with his stated intention for a big announcement, is of particular concern,” adds Karaolis, who asks for “clear action and consequences from the international community”.

The letter to Boris Johnson from the Federation President ends by noting the “close and multifaceted” UK’s relationship with Turkey. “As such, you have the power to make a lasting difference in relation to Cyprus and, on this tragic anniversary, I urge you to exercise this proactively and unequivocally,” he concludes.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and still occupies 37% of the island`s territory.

Varosha, the fenced off section of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, is often described as a ‘ghost town’.

UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984) considers any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN. UN Security Council resolution 789 (1992) also urges that with a view to the implementation of resolution 550 (1984), the area at present under the control of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus be extended to include Varosha.

On October 8, 2020, the Turkish side opened part of the fenced area of Varosha, following an announcement made in Ankara on October 6. Both the UN Secretary-General and the EU expressed concern, while the UN Security Council called for the reversal of this course of action.

Source: Cyprus News Agency