The UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, has said he is “deeply concerned by President Erdogan’s announcement on partial reopening of Varosha” and that the UK will be “discussing it urgently with Security Council members”.

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson added:

“The UK is deeply concerned about the announcement made during the visit of President Erdogan to Cyprus on 19-20 July 2021 regarding the reopening and resettlement of an area constituting 3.4% of the fenced-off area of Varosha.

“The announcement runs contrary to UN Security Council resolutions and to the Security Council Presidential Statement of 8 October 2020 which called for Turkey to halt and reverse its actions in Varosha.

“The UK strongly supports the relevant Security Council Resolutions covering the issue of Varosha and calls for all parties to comply with them.

“The UK will be discussing this issue as a matter of urgency with other Security Council members.

“The UK calls on all parties not to take any actions which undermine the Cyprus Settlement process or increase tensions on the island.”

Responding to the announcement that the occupied area of Varosha in Cyprus is to be partially reopened, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament, Fabian Hamilton MP said:

“This move is in blatant violation of existing UN Resolutions on Cyprus. To announce it on the anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus is needlessly provocative and will only further division on the island.

“As a Guarantor Power, the UK has a historic commitment to the people of Cyprus. After the failure to make any progress towards reunification at the talks in April, it’s vital that the UK now uses its position of influence to urge the Turkish Government to stick to its obligations under international law and withdraw all Turkish military presence from Cyprus, so that negotiations towards a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal political settlement can restart.”

Statement from Christos Karaolis, President, and the Secretariat of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, following the announcement on 20 July 2021 that Turkey will be illegally opening 3.5% of occupied Varosi:

“On today’s tragic anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the announcement by Turkey and the occupation regime to extend the occupation by opening 3.5% of the fenced off area of Varosi is illegal, incredibly provocative and a blatant violation of UN Security Council Resolutions.

“If these Resolutions are to mean anything, there must be meaningful consequences when they are violated. So, as a UK-Cypriot diaspora we urge ‘Global Britain’ as a Guarantor Power, a P5 Security Council member and the penholder on UN Security Council Resolutions for Cyprus to lead the international community’s response to Turkey’s illegal actions in Varosi.”

International response