The European Union is ready to support negotiations and play an active role in finding a permanent solution to the Cyprus issue, a top official said Sunday.
"The EU is fully committed to unification within the framework of the U.N. and along the lines of the founding principles of the EU, on the basis of a federation with a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem and bi-zonal, bi-communal political equality," the bloc's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.
Borrell noted that the latest developments in the long-abandoned city occurred at a time when attempts to have an open dialogue are underway, stressing that negotiations on the resolution of the Cyprus problem and unification of the island need to start quickly under the auspices of the United Nations.
Borrell also expressed regret over the opening of the coastline of the closed town of Maraş (Varosha) in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and over statements that contradict U.N. principles for resolving the Cyprus problem.
"There is no alternative to the comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem other than the basis of U.N. Security Council resolutions," said Borrell, referring to the partial opening of Varosha, which has been closed for 46 years.
Borrell stressed that there should be no action on the status of Varosha that is not in line with the relevant U.N. resolutions, noting Turkey should have the responsibility of creating an environment to help negotiations and make a concrete contribution.
"In this regard, we regret today's actions on the opening of the closed zone in Maraş and statements that contradict the U.N. principles for the solution of the Cyprus problem. These will cause more insecurity, more tensions in the region and must be urgently undone," he said.
The abandoned town of Varosha in Gazimağusa, also known as Famagusta, partially reopened for public use on Oct. 8.
Varosha had been a ghost town to which entry was forbidden except for Turkish army personnel stationed in the TRNC.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.
It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the U.K.
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