US secretary of state warns Ankara to respect resolutions on Varosha

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday assured Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides that any unilateral actions by Turkey to reopen Varosha would be against UN resolutions and would hamper any efforts to resume peace talks, the Ekathimerini news website reported, citing state news agency ANA-MPA.

According to a well-informed source in Washington, Pompeo’s views were included in a letter sent to Christodoulides on September 13 and was referring to UN Resolutions 550 and 789.

“The United States looks to all parties to respect these resolutions and will deliver this same message clearly to Turkey,” the US official was quoted as saying in his letter, according to the same source.

Pompeo also reiterated US support for a bizonal, bicommunal federation, which offers the best chance for a better future for the people of Cyprus.

Christodoulides will attend a dinner hosted on Wednesday evening by Pompeo for his EU counterparts in New York.

The town of Varosha has been fenced off since 1974. Last week, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay reiterated Turkey’s plans to open Varosha in the Turkish-occupied part of Famagusta and that properties would be returned to their rightful owners “on the basis of historical evidence.”

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