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Recent Developments in the Cyprus’ Problem

Resolution Nr. 5 adopted at the EPP Congress Rotterdam (The Netherlands), 31st May – 1st June 2022
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The EPP condemns any violation of international law and any actions that violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of any independent country. In this regard, the EPP reaffirms its strong support to the process for a comprehensive, sustainable and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and in line with EU law, values and principles without the presence of foreign troops, the anachronistic system of guarantees or any kind of foreign dependencies. The EPP reiterates that Cyprus’s EU membership constitutes the best guarantee for the security, stability and prosperity of Cyprus and all Cypriots.   The EPP is deeply concerned by negative developments regarding the Cyprus problem. The EPP will never accept the partitionist position of Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leaders to create two states on the island of Cyprus which is contrary to international law and is a blatant deviation from the agreed framework of the negotiations based on a bi-zonal, bicommunal federal model for Cyprus, as established by the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. The EPP explicitly denounces any purported alternative solution for the creation of two states on the island of Cyprus.   The EPP welcomes the position of the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, and his will to get the negotiations back on track on the basis of the UN framework, a call he repeated during his speech at the 76th UN General Assembly. In this regard, the EPP welcomes and supports the proposed ‘Confidence Building Measures’ recently put forward by the Republic of Cyprus which could bring progress in breaching the differences between the two communities and create the appropriate climate for the resumption of talks. The EPP calls on Turkey to take all necessary and constructive steps to actively support this effort and contribute to the resumption of the negotiations between the two communities under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary General’s Good Offices Mission.   The EPP condemns the decision by Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leaders on 20 July 2021 on the further reopening of a part of the fenced-off area of Varosha. Such actions constitute a flagrant violation of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions on the status quo of the area and lead to the creation of an extremely negative precedent as far as the overall solution of the Cyprus problem is concerned. The EPP reiterates that any attempt to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its lawful inhabitants is unacceptable.   The EPP underlines the importance of the status of Varosha and demands the full compliance of Turkey with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and in particular Resolutions 550 (1984) and 789 (1992) as well as the High-Level Agreement of 1979 reached between the President of the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot leader, which defined the framework for the immediate return of Varosha to its lawful inhabitants and the transfer of this area to the administration of the United Nations. The EPP calls for the reversal of that course of action and for the reversal of all steps taken in Varosha since October 2020 in line with the United Nations Security Council Presidential Statement of 23 July 2021 and the Declaration of the High Representative of the European Union of 27 July 2021.   The EPP stresses that the ‘Confidence Building Measures’ package presented by the Republic of Cyprus include, among others, to return Varosha to its lawful inhabitants under UN administration in return for the operation of Famagusta port customs services under EU authority and the operation of Tymbou airport under the United Nations. The aforementioned port and airport are both in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus and their operation will work to the benefit of the Turkish Cypriots’ progress and prosperity. As part of the package of ‘Confidence Building Measures’, the Republic of Cyprus would expect Turkey to implement the additional Ankara protocol, by opening ports to ships sailing under the Cyprus flag and allowing Cypriot planes to enter Turkish airspace.   Furthermore, the EPP condemns any aggressive rhetoric and actions aimed at threatening the sovereignty and sovereign rights of EU Member States, to explore and exploit their natural resources in line with the EU acquis and international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. In particular, the EPP condemns any illegal and provocative actions by Turkey in the territorial sea, the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus, and in Greece's continental shelf, in violation of the rules of international law pertaining to the Law of Sea. To this end, the EPP calls on Turkey to abstain from renewed provocations or unilateral actions in breach of international law.   According to the conclusions of the European Council in June 2021, the EU should engage with Turkey in a phased, proportionate and reversible manner subject to the conditionality of Turkey’s conduct and remains seized on the matter. The EPP therefore calls upon Turkey to refrain from any activity which is not conducive to good neighbourly relations and to abstain from any actions that undermine the efforts to resume the Cyprus talks and that cause instability in the region.

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