European Parliament denounces Turkish side’s decision to open Varosha

Mep EU sanctions

The European Parliament on Thursday denounced Turkey’s recent decision to open Varosha, calling on the European Council to impose hard sanctions on Ankara.

In a non-binding resolution adopted by 631 votes in favour, three against and 59 abstentions, MEPs condemned Turkey’s illegal activities in the Varosha suburb of Famagusta, and warned that its partial opening weakens prospects for a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem, exacerbating divisions and entrenching the permanent partition of the island.

Mep EU sanctionsMEPs called on Turkey to transfer Varosha to its lawful inhabitants under the temporary administration of the UN (in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 550) and to refrain from any actions that alter the demographic balance on the island through a policy of illegal settlement.

A sustainable solution to reunify Cyprus and its people can only be found through dialogue, diplomacy, and negotiations, MEPs stressed. They called on the European Council to maintain its unified position on Turkey’s illegal actions and impose tough sanctions in response.

MEPs also called on the EU to play a more active role in bringing reunification negotiations under UN auspices to a successful conclusion.

Moreover, the resolution underlined the UN Secretary-General’s call for the resumption of negotiations from where they were left off at Crans-Montana in 2017.

The European Parliament went on to caution that EU-Turkey relations are at an all-time low, as Turkey increasingly distances itself from European values and norms.

According to the resolution, Ankara’s illegal and unilateral military actions in the eastern Mediterranean infringe on the sovereignty of EU member states Greece and Cyprus.