Sunday 25th of October 2020 |
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EU's Borrell Warns over N.Cyprus 'Violation'




The EU's diplomatic chief on Wednesday condemned plans by breakaway northern Cyprus to reopen part of a long-fenced-off town as a "serious violation" of a UN ceasefire agreement on the divided island.
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, backed by Ankara, has vowed to open a coastal section of disputed Varosha, prompting anger from the island's internationally recognised government.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the incident would only exacerbate tensions between Turkey and the bloc, already running high over Ankara's gas exploration in Cypriot waters.
"The opening of this area which is a closed area according with the ceasefire agreements under the auspices of the United Nations is a serious violation of this agreement," Borrell told the European Parliament.
He said the bloc would issue a statement later Wednesday "asking Turkey to stop this activity".
"For sure this is not going to help. On the contrary it's going to make it more difficult to reach an agreement on an especially difficult situation for all of us on the eastern Mediterranean," he added.
The Turkish army has kept Varosha fenced off since its Greek Cypriot residents fled when it invaded northern Cyprus in 1974 in response to an Athens-engineered coup attempting to unite the island with Greece.
Turkey, the only country that recognises the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, has long planned to open Varosha, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed Tatar's announcement.

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