The issue of Famagusta, the migration issue and the measures which Cyprus implements with regard to the coronavirus are on the agenda of a meeting of the National Council which takes place on Thursday morning at the Presidential Palace, under Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades.
Due to the discussion of the coronavirus issue, Health Minister, Constantinos Ioannou, attends the meeting to brief political party leaders on the measures taken.
The meeting is also attended by former President of the Republic George Vassiliou, Democratic Rally President Averof Neofytou, AKEL General Secretary Antros Kyprianou, Democratic Party President Nicholas Papadopoulos, socialist EDEK party President Marinos Sizopoulos, President of the Citizens’ alliance George Lillikas, President of the Alliance movement Eleni Theocharous, President of the Ecologists movement George Perdikis, ELAM President Christos Christou and President of the Democratic Alignment Marios Garoyian.
On the government’s part, the meeting is also attended by the Deputy Minister to the President Vasilis Palmas, Government Spokesman Kyriakos Koushos, Deputy Government Spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas and Director of the President’s diplomatic office Kyriakos Kouros.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
The Turkish Bar Association organized recently a round table meeting, which was held in Varosha for the first time since 1974, and was attended by Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay and Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül, among others. Oktay stated that Varosha belongs to the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime, and took part in a tour of the fenced-off part of Famagusta.
Efforts over the years for the legitimate citizens of Famagusta to return to the city have met with the refusal of the Turkish side, despite numerous decisions and resolutions by the UN, EU and other international institutions.
UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984) considers any attempts to settle any part of Varosha (the fenced-off area of Famagusta) by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN.
The Council of Ministers decided last Friday the temporary suspension of the operation of four crossing points at Ledra Street, Astromeritis, Lefka, and Deryneia as a precaution against COVID-19. The measure was put into force as of Saturday morning at 06:00 local times.